The French 75 cocktail is a classic drink made with gin, champagne and lemon juice. It’s perfect for any celebration!
Even though the fireworks of July 4 have fizzled out, we don’t have to stop celebrating independence.
Bastille Day, or French National Day, is coming up soon. It takes place July 14, or le quatorze juillet. It’s the day the people of France commemorate the beginning of the French Revolution.
Several months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the French 75, w
hich I think is the perfect cocktail for toasting Bastille Day.
I love it so much I even came up with an elderflower French 75 made with St. Germain liqueur.
This is no surprise: I’ve been a francophile all my life, and took French in both high school and college. And I was president of French Club.
My favorite coffee shop to this day is a local French bakery with the best macarons. So it’s safe to say I’ll be a francophile for the rest of my life as well.
What is a French 75?
The French 75, known as the Soixante-Quinze in France, is a sparkly drink of lemon, gin and champagne. Vodka can also be used!
This 20th-century cocktail gets its name for a rapid-firing 75-millimeter field gun that was used in France during World War I.
It’s a contemporary classic, and its history makes it a sweet francophile homage year-round.
What’s in a French 75 cocktail?
A French 75 cocktail only contains a few ingredients.
Simple syrup — I always recommend making your own simple syrup. It’s so very easy! Just equal parts of sugar and water. You can even have fun with flavored simple syrups as I did with this rosemary French 75 that uses rosemary-infused simple syrup.
Lemon juice — The concentrated stuff will work, but fresh lemon juice is always best. For a garnish, pick up a knife or vegetable peeler to cut either a thin lemon slice or a long piece of lemon zest to twist.
Gin — What kind of gin you use is up to you. My favorite right now is Citadelle, but I also love Hendrick’s. I used to dislike gin an awful lot, so if you’re in that camp, feel free to substitute vodka. Check out my guides to Gin 101 and Vodka 101 to help you find the right bottle for you.
Champagne — Real champagne would be the most French choice (and the classic one for a French 75) because the grapes its made from hail from the Champagne region of France. Crémant or a sparkling rosé would be lovely too.
Feel free to use cava, prosecco or any other bubbly, even though they’re not French. Check out my guide to Sparkling Wine 101 for more tips on what bubbly to pick.
Make sure that whatever you pick says “brut” or “dry.” “Demi-sec” or “semi-dry” would also work fine.
When to serve a French 75
Besides Bastille Day, the French 75 is perfect just about whenever you want one!
I love them for a New Year’s Eve cocktail, but you can also serve them for brunch or any time you have something to celebrate!
They are a lot of fun for any kind of cocktail party because they are so elegant, but easy to make and even classier than plain champagne.
French 75 Variations
There are a number of variations on the French 75 that are just as fun. Whether you’re not a gin drinker or want to try something new, they’re worth a shot.
If you make your French 75 with vodka, it’s technically called a French 76.
The Seelbach cocktail is a champagne cocktail that’s made with bourbon, so we could call it a Kentucky 75.
Whatever you call them, there are so many champagne cocktails out there to enjoy whenever you have something to celebrate! // susannah
- 1 ounce gin or vodka
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 3 ounces brut champagne, chilled
- lemon wheel or twist for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine gin, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute.
- Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon wheel or twist. Serve immediately.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g