Indulge in the Luxurious Vibe of the ‘French 75’ Cocktail

A French 75: Elevate Your Celebrations with This Classic Cocktail

When I’m craving a light cocktail before dinner or a delightful companion for brunch, I always go for the sophisticated French 75—not the traditional mimosa. With its radiant, sunny hue, this sparkling, lemon-infused cocktail is crisp, refreshing, and bursting with subtle herbal undertones from the gin.

The French 75 isn’t just a fantastic classic cocktail for celebrating milestones or special occasions (it might just be the ultimate Valentine’s Day libation!), it’s also a perfect reason to uncork a bottle of Champagne any day you feel like adding a touch of sparkle. (And if you need help selecting the perfect bottle, check out our Champagne 101 guide.)

What Is a French 75?

The French 75 is a timeless fizzy cocktail crafted with gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne. Originating from Harry’s Bar in Paris during World War I, its name is believed to pay homage to the 75-millimeter field guns used in the war. While there’s been some discussion about whether the original recipe called for cognac instead of gin, it’s now widely recognized as a gin-based libation.

Key Ingredients in a French 75

Lemon: You’ll need a whole lemon for its zest and juice. For a slightly more floral twist on the French 75, consider using a Meyer lemon instead.

Gin: Any type of gin will do; choose your favorite or opt for London dry for a more herbaceous taste. Personally, I enjoy the citrus and juniper flavors of Gray Whale gin alongside the Champagne and lemon in this cocktail.

Simple syrup: Stick to a simple syrup made with equal parts water and sugar.

Review Recipe:  Creamy risotto with avocado, a quick lunch when you don't feel like cooking for a long time!

Sparkling wine: Opt for a dry sparkling wine, such as brut Champagne, to counterbalance the sweetness of the simple syrup. Make sure it’s chilled, as it’s poured directly into the glass after the cocktail’s base is shaken and strained.

French 75 Cocktail

Makes 1 drink

Ingredients:

– 1 medium lemon
– 1 1/2 ounces gin
– 3/4 ounce simple syrup
– Ice
– 2 ounces chilled dry sparkling wine, such as brut Champagne

Instructions:

1. Using a channel knife or vegetable peeler, peel a long strip of zest from 1 medium lemon. Juice the lemon until you have 3/4 ounce of juice.
2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemon juice, 1 1/2 ounces of gin, and 3/4 ounce of simple syrup. Fill the shaker halfway with ice, seal it, and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty, about 20 seconds.

3. Strain the mixture through a strainer into a Champagne flute. Slowly pour in 2 ounces of chilled dry sparkling wine. Hold the lemon peel over the cocktail and twist it to release the oils onto the surface of the drink. Rub the outer side of the peel over the rim of the flute, then drop the peel into the cocktail.

Recipe note: If you’re making multiple French 75s, it’s a good idea to zest and juice all the lemons beforehand. You can double the ingredients to make two drinks at a time in the shaker, but I wouldn’t recommend making more than two at once to ensure proper chilling and dilution with the ice.

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