French 75 Cocktail

ChampagneCocktailGin

The lovely classic French 75 cocktail is made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne. A great drink for brunch or a fancy party!

Photography Credit: Nancy Mitchell

A French 75 looks fancy, but it’s actually quite easy to make. Take a gin sour (gin, lemon, and simple syrup), add Champagne, and voila! You have a French 75.

It’s great for parties since you can make it ahead of time, and a good excuse to drink gin at brunch. What’s not to like?

Why Is It Called a French 75?

The French 75 first appeared in print in 1927 and was named for a field gun popular during World War I, supposedly because it packed a similar punch.

The French 75 is not a particularly strong drink, but it’s so light and refreshing – with the herbal flavors of the gin and the grape flavors of the Champagne complementing one another so beautifully – that you might be tempted to finish yours very fast. (Also, try this Blood Orange French 75!)

Champagne sparkling wine cocktail with gin simple syrup lemon juice

Which Champagne Should I Use?

The Champagne takes this gin drink to the next level and accounts for its brunch-friendliness. Although many recipes call specifically for Champagne, any kind of sparkling wine, Prosecco, or Cava will do.

Mixing it with the gin and lemon knocks out a lot of the nuances of a more expensive wine, so a reasonably priced sparkling wine is a good choice here.

Which Gin Should I Use?

You don’t need to spring for a very expensive gin for this drink; any mid-range gin (like Broker’s or Boodles) will do nicely.

That said, I am a particular fan of a French 75 made with Nolet’s Silver, a really beautiful gin with notes of rose and peach. And while I don’t usually recommend Hendrick’s gin for cocktail mixing (its cucumber flavors can throw things off), that gin is actually quite refreshing in this drink.

Champagne flute with French 75 brunch cocktail ingredients

What Kind of Glass Should I Use?

This drink is perfectly sized for a 7- to 8-ounce Champagne flute. Mine are the Nattie from Crate & Barrel, which are really elegant and cost just $4 each, so you never need to stress if someone breaks one.

If your glass falls into that volume range, you can just drop in the gin/lemon mixture and then top with the Champagne. Otherwise, measure out the Champagne to make sure you’re getting the right proportions.

Make-Ahead and Batch Instructions

This drink is a great candidate for making ahead. Mix the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in advance and save it in the fridge for up to a day. When you’re ready to drink, just add Champagne and go.

If you want to make a big batch of this ahead of time for a party, just turn the ounce measurements into cups. (A cup is eight ounces, so each cup means eight drinks.) Mix a cup of gin and half a cup each of simple syrup and lemon juice in a pitcher with a handful of ice. Stir well, and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to mix with the Champagne.

More Fun and Fancy Cocktails to Enjoy!

French 75 Cocktail Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 3 ounce Champagne or sparkling wine

Method

1 Combine ingredients: Add gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Throw in a few cubes of ice and shake until the shaker forms a frost. Strain into a Champagne flute or coupe.

2 Add Champagne: Top with Champagne and enjoy!

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Nancy Mitchell

Nancy is a writer and photographer living in New York. She makes drinks with local and homegrown ingredients and writes about the New York cocktail scene on her Instagram feed and at her blog, The Backyard Bartender.

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2 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lin

    My mother made it with brandy instead of gin, also. Very tasty and really sneaky so watch out!

  2. Robert

    Better with brandy, not gin – just not as pretty. Plus, I’m a gin fan, but a French artillery piece demands grape, not juniper, French, not British, etc.

Fancy French 75 cocktail with champagne gin and simple syrup ingredientsFrench 75 Cocktail