Are you acquainted with the French 75? The French 75 is a refreshing and citrusy, sparkling gin cocktail that packs a punch. It’s perfect for the holidays and other celebratory occasions. The French 75 is the answer any time a bubbly cocktail is in order!
French 75’s are made with a standard pour of gin and topped with Champagne, so it’s a strong drink in a sparkling dress. In fact, it’s named after the French 75-mm field gun, which was commonly used in World War I.
Here’s my only spin on this classic cocktail: I used honey instead of sugar in the simple syrup. The light honey flavor plays beautifully with fresh lemon and herbal gin. That said, you can absolutely keep the the original recipe and use sugar if you’d prefer. My recipe works either way!
French 75 Ingredients & Tips
Whether you’re using honey or sugar, you’ll need to make simple syrup on the stove, which will take less than 5 minutes (if you try using straight honey in a cold cocktail, it will seize up). You can make the simple syrup up to several days before your party (store it in the refrigerator, covered) or just let it cool for a few minutes before you shake up your drinks.
As far as the gin is concerned, you can use standard dry gin, such as Beefeater. I used Hendrick’s instead, which has notes of cucumber and rose. If you’re going to the store for French 75 supplies, I’d personally reach for Hendrick’s (I’m not wild about the more juniper-y gins).
French 75 Variations
If you’re looking for more creative spins on a standard French 75, don’t miss my Clementine French 75 and Earl Grey French 75. You’ll also appreciate the Elderflower Champagne Cocktail in my cookbook (page 127).
Please let me know how your French 75 cocktails turn out in the comments! I hope they’re perfectly delightful.
Classic French 75 Cocktail
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: French
Classic French 75 cocktails are easy to make at home with this recipe! The French 75 is a refreshing and citrusy, sparkling gin cocktail that packs a punch.
- 1 ½ ounces gin
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice (about ¾ medium lemon)
- ¾ ounce simple syrup (recipe follows)
- 2 to 3 ounces chilled Champagne (enough to top the glass)
- Lemon peel, for garnish
Simple syrup (yields enough for 5 cocktails, scale as necessary)
- ¼ cup honey or sugar
- ¼ cup water
- To make the simple syrup: Combine the honey (or sugar) and water in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, whisking occasionally, just until the honey or sugar has disappeared into the water. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool.
- To make a cocktail (you can make multiple drinks at once): Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Securely fasten the cap on the shaker and shake until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain the liquid into Champagne glasses and top with Champagne.
- Twist your lemon peel and hold it for a few seconds to retain the shape. Garnish your glass with the lemon twist, and enjoy this drink while it’s cold!
Measurement tips: 1 ½ ounces is 3 tablespoons, and ¾ ounce is 1 ½ tablespoons.
Make it vegan: Use vegan sugar instead of honey.
Make it gluten free: I found Hendrick’s on a list of gluten-free gins, but you might double-check to be sure.
Change it up: Any fresh citrus juice will work here. Clementine or blood orange juice is fun. You could also use St. Germain elderflower liqueur in place of the simple syrup (in which case, I’d stick with lemon as the citrus).