French 75 Cocktail Recipe
Feb 13, 2018, Updated Nov 29, 2023
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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.
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.
Table of Contents
- 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
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.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Brut (dry) Champagne is the preferred choice. Prosecco, Cava, or dry sparkling wine is a welcomed (and more budget-friendly) substitute.
The French 75 is traditionally served in a Champagne flute.
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!
Enjoy this recipe? If you made this cocktail, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
French 75 Cocktail Recipe
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 3 ounces brut Champagne, Prosecco, or dry sparkling wine
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.