How to make a Hungarian 75

A Hungarian twist on a classic


When I graduated from college, my parents took me out for a seafood dinner and gave me a pretty ring. When my youngest sister graduated college, they took her to Hungary. 

Now, I know that their financial situation had drastically improved by the time she graduated college, but as our middle sister once said to my parents – after my dad took my mom instead of her to Michael Jordan’s last Bulls winning basketball championship game – it will be that much easier to someday place you in an aged home. I’m not jealous or bitter. I swear.

Sibling rivalry and parental favourites aside, I still dream of strolling the romantic streets of Budapest. 

Most of my dreams focus on the wine, of course. The sweet Tokaji Aszú, the bold red blends, and, last, but not least, the ice wines. And while the on-again, off-again travel restrictions of the pandemic put my travel plans on hold, I can, at least, enjoy the wine. 

While Hungarian wines are delightful on their own, they also play well with others in cocktails. In fact, Hungarian ice wine plays really well in a modern riff on the French 75. I call it the Hungarian 75. (I know, original name, right?)

It’s a sweet start to a pleasurable evening meal, but it also makes an even better night cap. And it’s lovely enough to remove any lingering bitterness from difficult family dynamics.


45ml Hungarian ice wine or other ice wine

30ml fruity or floral modern gin

15ml fresh lemon juice

90ml sparkling wine (a Pezsgő might be nice!)

Garnish: a single berry like a raspberry/blackberry or a peel of lemon

Stir together the ice wine, gin and lemon juice. Pour into a champagne flute, then top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a single berry or a peel of lemon.

Note: You could use a Tokaji dessert wine, but it won’t have the same flavour profile as an ice wine. If you use the Tokaji, you might want to substitute the floral or fruity gin with an aromatic vodka. 

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