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French 75 Cocktail recipe

French 75 Cocktail recipe

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  • Recipes
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  • Drink
  • Cocktails
  • Champagne cocktails

During World War I, there was a nasty piece of artillery that the French would point at the Germans and shoot, rapidly. It was called the French 75.

7 people made this

IngredientsServes: 1

  • ice
  • 2 measures gin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • sparkling wine

MethodPrep:3min ›Ready in:3min

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, sugar and lemon juice to the shaker. Shake well, then strain into a tall cocktail glass filled with ice. Fill with sparkling wine.

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French 75 cocktail - recipes & history

The French 75 cocktail celebrates the firepower of the WWI French 75-millimetre field gun. In recent decades, this has become a potent gin-based champagne cocktail with lemon juice and sugar served in a flute, but it originally consisted of gin, apple brandy, grenadine and lemon juice served in a cocktail glass. It is one of the world’s best-known cocktails but has been shrouded in misinformation.

French 75 Cocktail

The French 75 is one of the most popular Champagne cocktails. The beauty of this drink is in its simplicity and bright citrus taste. With a base liquor of gin or cognac accented by simple syrup, lemon juice, and the vibrant bubbles of sparkling wine, it's a lovely drink that's perfect for any occasion. You'll also find that it's a wonderful brunch alternative to the mimosa.

Created sometime around World War I, the drink is called a French 75 because it was named after the French military's M1897 rapid-fire 75mm artillery gun. When they returned home, American soldiers brought the recipe, and the drink's fame was sealed in cocktail history after it became a regular at New York City's famous Stork Club.

Early in its life, this classic cocktail was made with cognac. Gin quickly overtook it as the most popular base, and London dry is the preferred style of gin. Those are not your only choices: The French 76 uses vodka, the French 95 features whiskey, and almost every spirit (including tequila) has been used in this drink over the years. No matter which liquor you choose, the best French 75 is made with top-shelf brands and fresh juice.

How to Make a French 75

Tip: For a less combative drink, ease up on the gin. But that's not how we recommend it.

Don't let the pastel fizziness and overwhelming effervescence of a French 75 fool you the cocktail holds enough alcohol to give an army a heady buzz. That's the sneakiness inherent to the booze-and-bubbles drink combo&mdashand the reason we make 'em. The French 75, for its part, calls for London dry gin and brut champagne.

You'll come across plenty of French 75s served in champagne glasses sans ice. And sure, the champagne, even if it's cheap, feels fancier when it's sipped from a flut. But we prefer to build a French 75 like a Tom Collins, meaning in a Collins glass over ice with brut as a topper. The ice really adds to the refreshment factor, and, bonus, you can use less expensive champagne. Here's our method.

A Little Background

The French 75 is an old one. Cataloging its many appearances since the 1800s&mdashor at least, cocktails that bore some similarity to it&mdashyou'll find versions with applejack, cognac, grenadine, absinthe, the works. But gin is by and large the through line. And speaking of buzzing an army. The name "French 75," before it signified a cocktail that remains popular after one-hundred-plus years, referred to a type of 75mm cannon used by the French in WWI. La bonne soixante-quinze&mdashman, could that gun shoot well. Ammo that could pack a wallop, and a drink that did the same? No wonder the cocktail co-opted the name somewhere along the line.

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If You Like This, Try These

If you replace the champagne in a French 75 with club soda, you've got yourself a Tom Collins. If you shake the gin, lemon, and sugar then strain them into a coupe, no bubbly, then you've got yourself a classic Gin Fizz. As for another killer booze-and-bubbly cocktail, try the Air Mail, which pairs gold rum with brut champagne.

    1. In a punch bowl, combine the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters and stir until thoroughly blended.
    2. Just before serving, pour in the Champagne and stir gently. Add the ice and garnish with the orange wheels.
    3. To serve, ladle into punch glasses.

    Reprinted with permission from Cocktails for a Crowd: More than 40 Recipes for Making Popular Drinks in Party-Pleasing Batches by Kara Newman. Text copyright © 2013 by Kara Newman photographs copyright © 2013 by Teri Lyn Fisher. Published by Chronicle Books, LLC.

    Here's how to prep 75s for a crowd: Have the lemon-gin base prepared before, then add the sparkling wine and serve. Pro tip: Shaking drinks with ice doesn't just chill them down. It also dilutes the beverage a bit, since the ice melts slightly, and proper dilution is necessary to making a cocktail taste smooth and balanced. So if you're forgoing the shake by pre-batching, add ¼ ounce water per cocktail&mdashnot to water it down, just to even it out.

    For eight drinks, multiply the below recipe by eight&mdashcombine 8 ounces gin, 4 ounces lemon juice, 4 ounces simple syrup and 2 ounces water in a sealable container. Pop that in the fridge, along with a bottle of bubbles. (A bottle is around 25 ounces eight of these drinks require 24 ounces, so one is perfect.)

    When it's party time, pull out the gin-lemon batch, give the whole thing a shake, then pour 2 ounces into each of eight flutes, and top with 3 ounces sparkling wine each. Have some lemon peels already cut, squeeze 'em on top and serve.

    (Alternatively, you can stir it all together in a punch bowl with ice, drop in a few lemon wheels, and you&rsquove got a French 75 punch. The sparkle will diminish a bit in the bowl, but it's still a delicious drink.)

    French 75 Cocktail

    If using maraschino cherries in clear cocktails, it’s ok to leave the stem on and drop them into the drink, instead of slitting them and perching them on the lip of the glass. The quality of the cherry also matters, so use Amarena, or Luxardo cherries when you can get them.

    As with most cocktails calling for Champagne, Prosecco or domestic dry sparkling wine is often used when cost is a concern. This example is shown served in a Champagne flute instead of a pilsner glass, which adds a touch of class and elevates the status of the drink.

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    A French 75 is a classic cocktail that’s made a comeback in recent years.

    Gin, champagne, lemon juice and sometimes simple syrup come together in a bubbly, fragrant drink.

    The French 75 is extremely sippable and a great introduction to gin for anyone who has previously sworn it off.

    But the Elderflower French 75 takes this classic cocktail to a new level with the addition of St. Germain elderflower liqueur.

    Elderflowers have a soft sweetness to them, and it really brightens the sometimes sharp flavors of gin and champagne.

    You don't need to spring for a very expensive gin for this drink any mid-range gin (like Broker's or Boodles) will do nicely.

    That said, I am a particular fan of a French 75 made with Nolet's Silver, a really beautiful gin with notes of rose and peach. And while I don't usually recommend Hendrick's gin for cocktail mixing (its cucumber flavors can throw things off), that gin is actually quite refreshing in this drink.

    French 75 Cocktail


    • ▢ 3 or more lemons preferably organic
    • ▢ 1/2 cup Cognac (VS or VSOP)
    • ▢ 1/2 cup simple syrup or less to taste
    • ▢ 2 cups ice cubes
    • ▢ 1 (26-ounce) bottle Champagne chilled
    • ▢ 4 long strips lemon zest preferably organic


    Show Nutrition

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Ooh la la! Delish. We always have a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge—ready for any celebratory occasion or for making sparkly sweet lemony cocktails such as this French 75 cocktail, which is a lovely addition to one's Champagne cocktail repertoire.

    I had to squeeze 2 1/2 lemons to get the 1/3 cup required. My cocktail shaker couldn't fit all 2 cups of ice, so I filled as much as possible, leaving just enough room for shaking. I used a timer to make sure I shook for 30 seconds and since the recipe produced quite a bit of mixture, I just put the shaker in the fridge to keep cold until we were ready for refills.

    And refill we did. again and again and again. We actually preferred the cocktail with less syrup mixture and more Champagne at more of a 1:1 ratio, but that's the beauty of cocktails. And this cocktail especially you can adjust to taste.

    This is a delicious recipe for a classic cocktail. It's a good one to have in your repertoire since there aren't many Champagne cocktail besides mimosas. It's quick and easy to make. The lemon gives the drink some bite while the cognac gives smoothness.

    I think I can take or leave the simple syrup. The cocktail isn't too sweet but I do prefer mine a little on the dry side.

    I adore classic cocktails like this one that focus on a few quality ingredients that, when combined, transform cocktail hour into something that much more special. Some of my favorites are a dry martini, Negroni, Sazerac, and of course, the French 75. These drinks are classics for a reason—they have history behind them and, well, they just taste good.

    I was interested in this version of a French 75 that combines bubbly with simple syrup, lemon juice, and Cognac. ( I actually used a nice brandy here instead of Cognac, just because that is what ye olde liquor cabinet dictated). The French 75 recipe I am used to swaps in gin for the cognac, but when I researched a classic French 75 online, either one is welcomed in this classic. The use of Cognac instead of gin really makes this version more of a cold weather French 75 the richness of the Cognac/brandy has a warming taste that is perfect for this time of year. In fact, this version is reminiscent of a Sidecar to me, which is another great drink to try.

    In terms of the recipe itself, to get 1/3 cup lemon juice I actually had to use 4 lemons, but it all depends on the size and juiciness of your citrus fruits. I had enough of the cognac/simple syrup mixture for 6 drinks total, and a touch more champagne leftover after that. (I think because you are filling each glass 2/3 full of the mixture and just topping off the final 1/3 with champagne, that is where the tad extra champagne comes into play. ) I served these pre-dinner drinks with some smoked almonds and ricotta-stuffed dried dates. But I think any small snack would work.

    Anyone who knows me is aware of my fondness for prosecco, and hence for me to really muddle up a bubbly and give it a TC is a difficult one. However it was not the case with this cocktail. It had the right amount of sweetness and sourness and the flavor of the Cognac did come through nicely without being in your face. Don't get me wrong. One sip will give you a good buzz. But it's a pleasant one and I think I will keep this recipe in my back pocket and bring it out every now and then.

    I used a bottle of Piper Heidesieck champagne chilled.

    This is a delicious recipe for a classic cocktail. It's a good one to have in your repertoire since there aren't many Champagne cocktails besides mimosas. It's quick and easy to make. The lemon gives the drink some bite while the Cognac lends it smoothness.

    I think I can take or leave the simple syrup. The cocktail isn't too sweet but I do prefer mine a little on the dry side.


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    French 75 Cocktail Recipe

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Serving Size: ⅔ cup
    Calories: 150 Calories


    Truvia Original Sweetener Syrup

    0.5 oz. Truvia Original Sweetener syrup


    Truvia Original Sweetener Syrup

    Add Truvia Original Sweetener to 1 cup warm-to-hot water.

    Shake or blend until dissolved completely.

    Keep the extra simple syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator, for use later.


    Fill drink shaker with ice.

    Pour Tattersall gin, lemon juice and 0.5 ounces of Truvia Original Sweetener syrup over ice.

    Top and shake vigorously about 15 seconds or until drink is chilled.

    Strain into coup glass with ice cubes, top with 3 oz. of sparkling wine and serve.


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