The French 75 is a classic cocktail made with gin and lemon. This drink recipe is classy and perfect for celebrations of all kinds!
Here’s one of the most sophisticated and refreshing cocktails out there: a French 75! It’s got a mysterious name, but it’s made with a few simple ingredients. It’s tangy, bubbly, and a bit botanical, and it makes every occasion more festive! Perfect for entertaining, use it as a brunch drink or a dinner party with friends. Really, any occasion is better with this drink in hand! Here’s how to make it.
What is a French 75?
A French 75 is just a fancy name for a champagne cocktail made with gin and lemon! It’s a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. Alex and I love how the flavor is complex and tangy, and the mouthfeel is bubbly. Here’s what’s in a classic French 75 cocktail:
- Lemon juice
- Simple syrup
You also can substitute pure maple syrup instead of simple syrup as a naturally sweet option. In fact, we prefer the flavor: it’s a gentler sweetener than sugar. We use this trick in many of our classic cocktails, from our gin fizz to classic daiquiri to whiskey sour. But of course you can use simple syrup instead if you prefer!
Why is it called French 75?
Most sources say that French 75 was invented in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris. It got this name because it was as powerful as a French 75mm field gun. Whatever the case, the name is just plain fun to say: another reason why I love this classic champagne cocktail!
Is French 75 a girly drink?
Drinking a delicious champagne cocktail has nothing to do with gender! Yes, cocktails made with champagne are sometimes called “girly.” But the French 75 is something anyone can drink. And that’s a fact!
Can you make a non-alcoholic French 75?
Yes, you can make a French 75 without alcohol! Just substitute non-alcoholic sparkling cider, grape juice, or wine for the champagne, and tonic water with a few dashes of cocktail bitters for the gin. These days there are some great non-alcoholic sparkling wine options on the market. Check your local grocery to see what is available.
Making mocktails or 0 proof cocktails are great for including people who don’t drink alcohol, pregnant women, or kids. Our son always wants to drink what we’re having. So make up a batch of kiddie French 75 cocktails for the young ones! (How cute would that be?)
Wondering how to make a lemon twist?
Half of the fun of a French 75 is the garnish. How to make a lemon twist for a drink? Alex figured out a way to make this classic garnish using no special tools. Go to How to Make a Lemon Twist (with a Knife!).
Any cocktail shaker recommendations?
If you make cocktails often, it’s worth buying a cocktail shaker! It quickly chills cocktails by shaking them against ice. It has a strainer so you can easily strain out the cocktail without the ice. Here’s the cocktail shaker we use: Favorite Cocktail Shaker | Amazon
What’s a substitute for a cocktail shaker? If you want to make this French 75 without one, here’s what you can do: Use a glass mason jar instead! Place the cocktail in the jar and fill it with ice. Then screw on the top and shake. When you pour out the cocktail, use a mesh strainer to keep the ice inside the mason jar.
When to serve a French 75
This classic champagne cocktail is festive and makes any occasion more celebratory! Here are some great times to serve a French 75:
- Brunch drink (Mother’s Day, etc)
- New Year’s Eve drink
- Holiday drink or Christmas cocktail
- Bridal shower, bachelorette party or girls night drink
- Celebration drink (you got that job or promotion, had a baby, etc!)
- Romantic dinner or dinner party drink
The French 75 is a classic cocktail made with gin and lemon. It’s sophisticated and perfect for celebrations of all kinds!
- Make the lemon twist garnish, if using.
- Place the gin, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake 15 seconds until cold. Strain the liquid into a champagne flute.
- Top off the glass with champagne (no need to measure). Garnish and serve. (Note: You can also make a large batch of gin, lemon juice, and syrup ahead if desired, then measure out 6 tablespoons per glass.)
*You’ll get about 8 to 10 drinks per 1 bottle of champagne. Make it non-alcoholic by using non-alcoholic sparkling wine.
- Category: Drinks
- Method: Cocktail
- Cuisine: Cocktails
Keywords: French 75, French 75 Recipe, French 75 Cocktail, French 75 Drink
Last updated: January 2021
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.