So, you’re looking for something fancy.
You want a classy cocktail. Perhaps for a special occasion, a holiday like New Years Eve, or simply a way to doll up your champagne or sparking wine?
Regardless of which of those describes you, I’ve got the answer: the French 75 cocktail.
The History of the French 75
Last year my wife and I took a trip to Paris, Amsterdam and London on our top 100 bar quest.
While not a top 100 bar, Harry’s New York Bar in Paris is known for being the birthplace of many famous cocktails such as the Sidecar, Bloody Mary, the Boulevardier, and yes – the French 75.
As any proper cocktail enthusiast must do while in Paris, we paid Harry’s a visit on our trip. I opted for a Sidecar instead of the French 75, which I’m lamenting now – but it’ll work great whenever I do a Sidecar blog post 🙂
The drink dates to 1915 as it’s original birthdate. It first appeared in print in 1922 in “Harry’s ABCs of Mixing Cocktails.”
It later appeared with the name “French 75” in the original Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930.
Early on there were quite a few variations on how to make this drink, including ones that used Calvados, Cognac, or even absinthe as elements.
However, the most common French 75 recipe these days consists of: Champagne, gin, lemon juice, and sugar.
While I’ve known how to make the drink for years, I did not know where the name came from. Apparently a “French 75” is a French cannon. The drink was said to have such a kick, that it felt like getting hit by a “French 75.”
This brings us to a common misconception.
Is the French 75 a “Girly Drink?”
I find it interesting how certain drinks can develop a certain reputation.
I remember ordering a negroni up in a coupe at a restaurant a while back and the dude next me actually said “That drink must have been for your wife.”
All because it was pink and served in a dainty glass.
Never mind the fact it’s about as strong of a cocktail as you’ll find.
It’s 2021, aren’t we past this? You can order whatever drink you want, simply because it tastes good.
The French 75, and most Champagne cocktails for that matter, have a similar reputation.
“It’s got bubbles, it must be for the ladies.”
Let’s just say the French 75 packs a punch.
The Best French 75 Recipe (My Personal Favorite)
I love the French 75 because it feels like an occasion cocktail.
Nothing means “celebration” more than a glass of champagne…until you get even fancier and turn it into a cocktail.
Generally speaking you’ll want to use as dry of a Champagne or sparkling wine as you can find.
Brut or extra brut is ideal (if you’re not up on champagne lingo, this actually has less sugar than “dry” Champagne).
You have quite a bit of wiggle room with the French 75, depending on personal preference, volume, and strength of the drink.
But the combination below is the one I’ve found to taste the best for me.
- 1oz gin
- .5 oz lemon juice
- .5oz simple syrup
- 4 oz dry Champagne or sparking wine
Combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a mixing glass, add
Pour into flute and top with champagne.
Give 2 stirs with a
And there you have it, a French 75. Next time you open up a bottle of bubbly, give it a shot. You may find that it becomes one of your new favorites.
French 75 Cocktail
- Mixing Glass
- Bar Spoon
- Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 oz Gin
- .5 oz Lemon Juice
- .5 oz Simple Syrup
- 4 oz Dry Sparkling Wine or Champagne
- 1 Peel Lemon (For Garnish)
- Add gin, lemon and simply syrup in a mixing glass
- Add ice and stir until chilled
- Strain into Champagne flute
- Add Sparkling wine
- Give two stirs with a bar spoon
- Garnish with lemon twist
Jenn Beard says
I love a French 75 so much – just the perfect drink when you’re feeling a little fancy. And so fun and easy to mix up. I like a dash of ginger liquor in mine, in place of the simple syrup. Cheers!