This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

This French 76 recipe is effervescent with a citrus zing! It’s a vodka spin on the classic French 75 cocktail that’s just as fun.

French 76
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!

The French 75 is one of our favorite cocktails, so it’s high time we’ve discovered its vodka-based cousin. Meet the French 76! This classy cocktail is just as sophisticated as its cousin drink, using vodka instead of the traditional gin. It’s got a light, bright flavor and effervescent bubbles: ideal for any time you need a festive signature drink. Here’s how to make it!

What is a French 76 cocktail?

The French 76 is spin on the classic French 75 cocktail using vodka instead of gin, mixed with lemon juice and champagne. Most sources say the French 75 was invented in 1915 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, and got this name because it was as powerful as a French 75mm field gun. The French 76 came along later, and simply substitutes vodka for the classic gin. The ingredients in a French 76 are:

  • Vodka
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Champagne, Prosecco or other sparkling wine

To make a French 76, shake the vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker, then strain into a flute and top with champagne. Many champagne cocktails are built in the glass and don’t require a cocktail shaker, but this drink is classically shaken before adding bubbles.

French 76

For the garnish

The garnish for a classic French 75 is a lemon twist. You can use this for a French 76, but this drink is also commonly served with a cocktail cherry in the bottom of the glass. We weren’t able to find the origin for this trend, but it’s a common styling for this vodka drink.

Sparkling wine: Champagne vs Prosecco

The French 76 is great with any type of sparkling wine. Typically a French 75 is made with champagne, but that’s because it was the sparkling wine that was available when the drink was invented in 1915. These days, you can find great bottles of Italian Prosecco that are much less expensive than French Champagne: because the manufacturing process for Prosecco is easier. Here’s the difference between champagne vs Prosecco:

  • Champagne: French sparkling wine (most expensive choice). It tastes bubbly and fruity, with undertones of almond and orange.
  • Prosecco: Italian sparkling wine. It’s a little sweeter than champagne: fruity and flowery, with notes of apple, pear and lemon.
  • Cava: Spanish sparkling wine. It has more citrus notes, and is a little more savory and less fruity.
Sparkling Wine

Making the French 76 cocktail for a party

This French 76 recipe is great for entertaining: but when you’re having a party, you don’t want to shake up each drink individually. There are a few ways to make multiple drinks at once! Here are some options:

  • Shake 4 drinks in a single cocktail shaker. A cocktail shaker is 16 fluid ounces, so there’s plenty of space for shaking up 4 drinks at a time.
  • Make 8 servings in advance: In a pitcher, stir together 1 ½ cups vodka, ¾ cup lemon juice, and ½ cup simple syrup and refrigerate until serving (or stir with 1 handful of ice, then discard the ice). When serving, add 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) vodka mixture to each glass with 3 ounces champagne.

More champagne cocktails

Love bubbles? Here are a few more champagne cocktails classically made with sparkling wine:

Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
French 76

French 76


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

This French 76 recipe is effervescent with a citrus zing! It’s a vodka spin on the classic French 75 cocktail that’s just as fun.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ½ ounces* vodka
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 3 ounces champagne or Prosecco (about 1/2 glass)**
  • Cocktail cherry, optional

Instructions

  1. Place the vodka, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake 15 seconds until cold. Strain the liquid into a champagne flute. (You can also pour these ingredients right into the flute, but the classic method is to use a cocktail shaker. If desired, shake up to 4 drinks at one time.)
  2. Place a cherry in the bottom of the glass. Top off the glass with champagne and serve.
  3. Party variation for 8 servings: In a pitcher, stir together 1 ½ cups vodka, ¾ cup lemon juice, and ½ cup simple syrup and refrigerate until serving (or stir with 1 handful of ice, then discard the ice). When serving, add 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of the vodka mixture to each glass with 3 ounces champagne.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

**You’ll get 8 drinks per 1 750 mL bottle of champagne.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Poured
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 Comments

  1. val polt says:

    In the French 76 recipe instructions, step 1, you say “Place the gin…” but the ingredients say “vodka.”
    Thank-you for all your amazing recipes!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      It should be vodka — thank you!!

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!