The lovely classic French 75 cocktail is made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne. A great drink for brunch or a fancy party!
Photography Credit:Nancy Mitchell
A French 75 looks fancy, but it’s actually quite easy to make. Take a gin sour (gin, lemon, and simple syrup), add Champagne, and voila! You have a French 75.
It’s great for parties since you can make it ahead of time, and a good excuse to drink gin at brunch. What’s not to like?
Why Is It Called a French 75?
The French 75 first appeared in print in 1927 and was named for a field gun popular during World War I, supposedly because it packed a similar punch.
The French 75 is not a particularly strong drink, but it’s so light and refreshing – with the herbal flavors of the gin and the grape flavors of the Champagne complementing one another so beautifully – that you might be tempted to finish yours very fast. (Also, try this Blood Orange French 75!)
Which Champagne Should I Use?
The Champagne takes this gin drink to the next level and accounts for its brunch-friendliness. Although many recipes call specifically for Champagne, any kind of sparkling wine, Prosecco, or Cava will do.
Mixing it with the gin and lemon knocks out a lot of the nuances of a more expensive wine, so a reasonably priced sparkling wine is a good choice here.
Which Gin Should I Use?
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.
What Kind of Glass Should I Use?
This drink is perfectly sized for a 7- to 8-ounce Champagne flute. Mine are the Nattie from Crate & Barrel, which are really elegant and cost just $4 each, so you never need to stress if someone breaks one.
If your glass falls into that volume range, you can just drop in the gin/lemon mixture and then top with the Champagne. Otherwise, measure out the Champagne to make sure you’re getting the right proportions.
Make-Ahead and Batch Instructions
This drink is a great candidate for making ahead. Mix the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in advance and save it in the fridge for up to a day. When you’re ready to drink, just add Champagne and go.
If you want to make a big batch of this ahead of time for a party, just turn the ounce measurements into cups. (A cup is eight ounces, so each cup means eight drinks.) Mix a cup of gin and half a cup each of simple syrup and lemon juice in a pitcher with a handful of ice. Stir well, and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to mix with the Champagne.
More Fun and Fancy Cocktails to Enjoy!
- Blood Orange French 75 Cocktail
- Bee’s Knees Cocktail
- Aviation Cocktail
- Grasshopper Cocktail
- Blueberry Pomegranate Cosmopolitan
French 75 Cocktail Recipe
- 1 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Ice cubes
- 3 ounce Champagne or sparkling wine
1 Combine ingredients: Add gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Throw in a few cubes of ice and shake until the shaker forms a frost. Strain into a Champagne flute or coupe.
2 Add Champagne: Top with Champagne and enjoy!
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