French 75 Cocktail Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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The French 75 is a classic cocktail made with gin, Champagne/Prosecco, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice. It’s incredibly refreshing with a nice balance of sweetness and citrus. It’s forever one of our all-time favorite drinks and a fantastic brunch cocktail.

A French 75 cocktail garnished with a lemon twist on a white marble table.

The French 75 earned its name for packing a punch like a French 75mm artillery gun from World War I. The cocktail originated around the 1930s in Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France. Also said to be the birthplace of the Bloody Mary and Sidecar cocktail. Despite the name, the cocktail is very refreshing and inviting.

Even if you’re not a gin lover, the French 75 is worth a try. The cocktail is very balanced and citrus-forward. The gin plays a complementary role while the lemon and sparkling wine stand at the forefront of every sip.

If you enjoyed this cocktail, you will also love the Corpse Reviver #2, which tastes very similar, and the Bees Knee’s cocktail, which is warm and citrusy thanks to the honey and lemon. Not to be confused with the French Martini, which is made with vodka, pineapple, and Chambord.

Ingredients

French 75 cocktail ingredients laid out on a cutting board.
  • Gin: I like Plymouth gin, Bar Hill gin, or whatever I have on hand. Cognac is also historically referenced as a substitution/variation.
  • Simple syrup: equal parts melted sugar and water. You can easily make your own or purchase at most grocery stores with the mixers.
  • Fresh lemon juice: I always opt for freshly squeezed lemon but my favorite store brand is ReaLemon. Invest in a citrus squeezer for easy juice extraction.
  • Champagne/Prosecco/sparkling wine: the French 75 officially calls for Champagne however you can substitute it with Prosecco or dry sparkling wine with fantastic results. Look for the mini bottles of Sparkling wine. Save what’s left over for an Aperol Spritz!

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

How to Make a French 75

Step 1.

Combine gin, simple sugar, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and fill halfway with ice. Shake or stir vigorously for 15 seconds.

A jigger pouring gin into a stainless steel cocktail shaker.
Squeezing lemon juice into a stainless steel cocktail shaker with a citrus squeezer.

Step 2.

Double strain into a Champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine and give a brief stir.

Double straining a French 75 cocktail into a chilled flute glass.
Adding a top off of sparkling wine to a French 75 cocktail.

Step 3.

To make a simple lemon twist, cut a 1/4-inch thick slice of lemon towards the center. With a pairing knife, slice and remove the flesh leaving a little of the pith behind. twirl into a coil and garnish.

A sliced lemon wheel that has been sliced and spread apart.
A lemon wheel peel with the flesh removed on a wooden cutting board.
A lemon twist on a wooden cutting board.

Expert tips

  • Never shake cocktails with carbonated ingredients. Prosecco/Champagne should always be reserved as the final topper in the finished drink.
  • A twist or expressed lemon peel adds delicious citrus flavor and aroma.
  • Chill your serving glasses ahead of time if possible—this keeps your drink cooler for longer.
A French 75 cocktail garnished with a lemon twist on a white marble table.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of Champagne do you recommend?

Brut (dry) Champagne is the preferred choice. Prosecco, Cava, or dry sparkling wine is a welcomed (and more budget-friendly) substitute.

What glass is a French 75 served in?

The French 75 is traditionally served in a Champagne flute.

Is the French 75 made with Cognac or gin?

Some early renditions of the cocktail were made with Cognac, however, the most common recipe today contains gin. If you like Cognac, I highly recommend trying it!

More Classic Gin Cocktails

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this cocktail, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 1 vote

French 75 Cocktail Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
The French 75 is a classic cocktail consisting of gin, champagne, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 3 ounces brut Champagne, Prosecco, or dry sparkling wine

Instructions 

  • Combine gin, simple sugar, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and fill halfway with ice. Shake or stir vigorously for 15 seconds.
  • Double strain into a Champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine and give a brief stir.
  • To make a simple lemon twist, cut a 1/4-inch thick slice of lemon towards the center. With a pairing knife, slice and remove the flesh leaving a little of the pith behind. twirl into a coil and garnish.

Notes

Never shake cocktails with carbonated ingredients. Prosecco/Champagne should always be reserved as the final topper in the finished drink.
A twist or expressed lemon peel adds delicious citrus flavor and aroma.
Chill your serving glasses ahead of time if possible—this keeps your drink cooler for longer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 227kcalCarbohydrates: 13.2gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 15mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: French
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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