Top-ranked among the many Champagne cocktails is the delicious French 75. Simple ingredients and a zesty citrus flavor give this drink its memorable taste. Cheerful sparkling wine bubbles, originally mixed with cognac but now most often London dry gin, are paired with lemon juice and simple syrup to make this drink a favorite for both special occasions and everyday enjoyment. Let’s learn how to concoct this crowd-pleaser!
- 4 oz Champagne or sparkling wine of your choice
- 1-2 oz gin, or substitute cognac
- 1/2 oz lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- 1 tsp simple syrup
- lemon twist for garnish
Crafting the Cocktail
- Prepare your ingredients.
- Mix the gin or cognac, simple syrup, and lemon juice with plenty of ice in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake thoroughly.
- Fill a chilled Champagne glass at least half full of ice. Strain ingredients into glass.
- Slowly top with Champagne.
- Garnish with a lemon twist, if desired. Serve and enjoy.
- While the 75 is typically served over ice, feel free to omit it.
- Use about 4 oz of Champagne, preferably brut.
- While it adds pizzaz, the garnish is optional.
- There are many ways to make this mouthwatering cocktail, and as with most popular cocktails, you’re sure to find many variations of the recipe.
- Adding a 1/2 oz of elderflower liqueur adds a sophisticated floral note. For another variation, swap the simple syrup for 1/2 ounce of a top-shelf triple sec to sweeten and add a lovely citrus note.
- Try fresh lime juice instead of lemon. Add granulated or powdered sugar in place of the simple syrup. Add a bit less liquor and bit more sweetener and citrus for a refreshing daytime cocktail.
- Step up to the French 76 by replacing the gin with vodka for a twist on the classic recipe. Create a beautiful blush by adding a splash of grenadine.
- Whiskey drinkers can choose the French 95. Mix 1 ounce of bourbon with 1/2 ounce of lemon juice and 3/4 ounce of simple syrup. Top it off with 4 ounces of Champagne for a unique flavor profile.
- The recipe was designed specifically for cognac at famous New Orleans restaurant Arnaud’s. To account for the darker cognac, reduce the citrus. Mix 1 ounce of cognac, 1/4 ounce of simple syrup, 1/4 ounce of lemon juice, and 4 ounces of Champagne.
Packs a Punch
The addition of gin or another liquor makes this cocktail much stronger than a typical glass of Champagne. Adding 2 ounces of gin gives this sparkler an alcohol content of about 19 percent ABV (38 proof).
The French 75 History
Created around WWI, the French military’s rapid-fire 75mm artillery gun lent its name to this drink. The famous Parisian bartender Harry MacElhone is sometimes said to have created it, though he never took that credit. American soldiers brought the recipe home, and its quick rise to become a favorite at the famous Stork Club in New York City propelled this drink into cocktail history. Craft one yourself to enjoy one of these delicious cocktails today!