Enjoy a fabulously fizzy mix of gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne with this Classic French 75 cocktail.
What’s in a name? In the case of the French 75, it’s a lot. This fizzy delight got its start in 1915 in a bar in Paris. Allegedly, the drink packed such a powerful punch that it was like getting shelled with a French 75mm gun. Hence the name.
The drink gained popularity with some pop culture references, appearing in the classic movie, Casablanca, and a couple of John Wayne films. But it didn’t need a cinematic shout-out to become a star. The combination of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne is red-carpet worthy.
The bubbly element might remind you of a Mimosa or even this Processo Sorbet Cocktail, but make no mistake: French 75 lives up to its name. It’s a glamorous drink with a tart vibe like a Whiskey Sour but a lineage that’s straight Parisian. This sophisticated cocktail is easy to make and tastes so delicious that when you’re thinking about whether to have another, the only plausible answer is, “Oui, Oui.”
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 oz Champagne
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Then add ice and shake vigorously to ensure the sugar dissolves.
- Fill a champagne flute halfway full with ice cubes. Strain the mixture over the ice in the glass.
- Top up the glass with Champagne and give it a gentle stir. Serve immediately, garnished with a twist of lemon peel.
Tips & Tricks for a Perfect Classic French 75
- Always use fresh lemon juice, which will provide the cleanest, most vibrant flavor.
- Make sure to shake the cocktail long enough to dissolve all the sugar.
- Use cold Champagne.
- The lemon peel garnish is more than decoration; it adds a burst of citrus aroma.
You can use a simple syrup. Or, if you’re worried about calories, try a low-cal sweetener.
You can use any dry sparkling wine, but Champagne is the classic choice.
Traditionally, you’d find this cocktail in a tall Champagne flute.
Classic French 75 Variations Worth Trying
- The French 76: Swap gin for vodka
- The French 75 Mocktail: Substitute the gin with a non-alcoholic spirit and replace the Champagne with club soda or a non-alcoholic sparkling wine
- The Soixante-Quinze: Try tart grapefruit juice instead of lemon and add a splash of elderflower liqueur
How to Store
If you like to prep ahead, you can mix the gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sugar, and pop it in the fridge. When it’s time to serve, fill up those flutes and top with Champagne. The mix (sans Champagne) can be stored in the fridge for a day or two. But if you add the Champagne, it’s time to drink up. The fizz won’t last.