French 75 Cocktail

French 75 Cocktail

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!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail

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

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 3 ounce Champagne or sparkling wine

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 3 ounce Champagne or sparkling wine

Method

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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