Sweet, tart and bubbly, this French 75 Champagne Cocktail is a perfect addition to any celebration. Simple to make, it will set the tone beautifully for cocktail parties, holiday parties or a special intimate dinner!
French 75 Champagne Cocktail
On Bastille Day, we were treated to an amazing French meal as part of our quarterly dinner club circuit. All the courses were scrumptious, but it was a lovely French 75 cocktail that left a lasting impression.
Simple syrup, lemon juice, gin work their magic in a cocktail shaker before being topped off with some bubbly and a twist of lemon. Pure bliss. I served these champagne cocktail to my book club friends, many of whom hadn’t heard of this cocktail either. I’m glad I could spread the word!
Tips for Making a Perfect French 75
As with most cocktails, the procedure is quite simple. But having all the ingredients set and ready to go will make the process of mixing and serving go smoothly.
- Make your own simple syrup by heating equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Don’t allow to boil or your ratio will not be equal when excess water evaporates.
- Simple syrup can be made well ahead of time and is perfectly safe to use if refrigerated for up to a month.
- Fresh lemon juice can be squeezed early in the day and stored in the refrigerator. I like to strain the lemon juice to remove any teeny seeds.
- PRO-Tip: Never use bottled lemon juice in your French 75 as the flavor of fresh is far superior.
- Using a cocktail shaker helps chill and combine the ingredients. Top with champagne and garnish before serving.
- For an added bit of glitz, dip the rim of your glass in some lemon juice, then into a shallow bowl of sugar.
- PRO-Tip:Did you know experts recommend shaking your cocktail shaker a full 30 seconds for the best results? 30 seconds will feel like an eternity, but give it a try!
- You can easily substitute some less expensive Cava or Prosecco for the Champagne.
What is the Origin of the Name, French 75?
One thought was that the mix of gin and champagne packed a powerful punch, like the French 75 mm field gun used by the Allies in WWI. The first written account of the recipe came after the war in Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, published in 1922. Except the ingredients didn’t jibe with today’s version, containing no champagne with additions such as Calvados and absinthe instead. So there’s no definitive answer.
No matter where or how the name came to be, this is one tasty champagne cocktail! I hope you’ll give this refreshing sparkler a try. Cheers!
I also love this Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail for the holidays, and these White Cosmos are beautiful for any occasion. I’m crushing on this Pink Champagne Punch Cocktail as well as this Grapefruit Champagne Cocktail!
- 1 1/2 ounces gin*
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (made with equal parts sugar and water)**
- 2 ounces Champagne or other dry sparkling wine
- Lemon slices or twists, to serve
Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled 3/4 of the way with ice cubes. Shake well for 15-20 seconds.
Strain into a champagne flute or cocktail glass, top with Champagne and serve with a slice of lemon or a lemon twist.
*I used Hendrick's gin
**Simmer equal parts sugar and water just until sugar dissolves. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.