French 75 Cocktail

The French 75 cocktail is a classic drink made with gin, champagne and lemon juice. It’s the perfect bubbly cocktail for any celebration!

A French 75 with a lemon garnish.

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Classic French 75 recipe

I’ve been a francophile all my life. I 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.

It’s no wonder why I love a bubbly French 75 cocktail! The fresh lemon juice, gin and champagne just make the most refreshing and happy celebratory drink.

The French 75 is a classic cocktail that is an excellent drink to ring in the new year, to toast for your birthday or create for any other occasions that need celebrating! You can grab this classic gin cocktail at any cocktail bar, so why not play the part of the head bartender and learn to make it on your own?

You’re going to love how simple it is to make. So if you need easy champagne cocktails for a party, this can be your go-to!

More French cocktail recipes: French GimletFrench MuleFrench Soda

A French 75 cocktail with lemon and gold garnishes.

Why you’ll love this recipe

There’s so many reasons to love a delightful champagne cocktail like the French 75! I love it because:

  • The refreshing bubbly mouthfeel makes it a next level gin cocktail. It’s so great to serve at parties because it’s a widely enjoyed cocktail!
  • It is really easy to make variations of this classic beverage. Add fun ingredients, switch up the flavors, and make your presentation exciting with different garnishes. Or go classic and everyone will still love it!
  • You can serve this cocktail any time of year for any occasion. It really fits well with the holiday season, summertime and everything in between!
Two glasses of French 75 champagne on a tray with a bottle of champagne.

What is a French 75?

French 75s are 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-mm field gun that was used in France during World War I. If you are in France, you’ll want to order un Soixante-Quinze cocktail, which means “75 cocktail.”

The drink is considered a spin on the Tom Collins cocktail, calling for French champagne instead of club soda. It’s a contemporary classic, and its history makes it a sweet francophile homage year-round.

A French 75 cocktail with a lemon garnish and a bottle of champagne.

Tools & glassware 

To make a good French 75, here’s a few thing you should have on hand in your home bar.

You’ll need a good cocktail shaker and a jigger to measure the alcohol for each of the French 75s. Make sure have plenty of champagne glasses.

It could also be helpful to have a bucket of ice to keep the champagne cold while making the individual cocktails.

The ingredients for a French 75 cocktail recipe are shown on a white surface.

Ingredients

A French 75 cocktail only contains a few ingredients. Here’s everything you need to have to make this easy recipe:

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 if you want.

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. You can also use a candied lemon slice.

Gin — What kind of gin you use is up to you. Everyone has their opinion on the best type of gin! My favorite right now is Citadelle, but I also love Hendrick’s gin, I used to dislike gin an awful lot, so if you’re in that camp, feel free to use vodka in place of gin. 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. I like to use a brut champagne. 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.

A French 75 cocktail garnished with a lemon wedge on a martini glass.

French 75 variations

When you change up the base spirit in the French 75 to make a similar recipe, the name changes too — à la the Bloody Mary.

Try one of these great variations on the French 75 next time you need an elegant, effervescent cocktail.

Whatever you call them, there are so many champagne cocktails out there to enjoy whenever you have something to celebrate!

Substitutions

Beyond the spirit, you can mix things up with other flavors, such as using other spirits, fruit juices, purées and flavored simple syrups.

Skip the alcohol: You can make a non-alcoholic French 75 with a zero-proof gin such as Ritual gin alternative and a non-alcoholic bubbly such as ginger beer or sparkling lemonade.

Use color: You can change the color of your French 75, as demonstrated in my recipe for a black magic champagne cocktail. The spookiest bubbly drink! You could also use purple gin to make a color-changing cocktail or rosé sparkling wine to make a pink cocktail.

Change up flavors: Take this rosemary French 75 for example: It uses a simple syrup infused with rosemary sprigs. You could also use other syrups. The amount of simple syrup can be adjusted to one’s preferred sweetness level.

A French 75 cocktail with a lemon garnish and a bottle of champagne.

How to Make a French 75

Here’s how to make this easy French 75 recipe:

A person pouring honey into a gold French cup.
A person pouring honey into a French 75 cocktail.
A person skillfully pouring honey into a gold cup, creating a glorious French 75 cocktail.

Combine gin, simple syrup and freshly squeezed lemon juice and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously to combine well.

A person is elegantly pouring a French 75 cocktail into a glass.
A French 75 cocktail being poured into a glass.
A person garnishing a French 75 cocktail with a lemon slice.

Then strain the cocktail into a champagne flute. Top the mixture with bubbly champagne and the garnish with a lemon twist. Serve immediately and don’t forget to clink glasses with your friends.

Tips & tricks

While this cocktail is pretty straightforward, here’s a few tip to make it the most successful:

  • Always let the bottle of champagne chill well before you plan to use it. Cold champagne will make the flavors of your French 75 much better and will keep the drink crisp and cold! The carbonation of the champagne will also be bubblier when it is cold.
  • Don’t be afraid to try different variations and flavors with this drink. The variations I have listed are just the beginning!
  • Serve each cocktail immediately after pouring. This is best practice to keep the champagne bubbly and the cocktail cold.

What to Serve to French 75 Cocktails

If you want a simple French treat to serve with these yummy cocktails, make these light and buttery French madeleines. But of course, you can make so many other amazing appetizers for more hearty snacks.

Whipped feta dip, a charcuterie board, and baked brie are always a hit at the parties that I host. You can make some bite sized apps like marinated cheese or caprese skewers, or shrimp cocktail too!

Two French 75 cocktails in martini glasses with lemon garnishes and a cocktail shaker.

FAQ

When should I 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.

Can I make a non-alcoholic French 75?

There are a variety of different non-alcoholic recipes using club soda or tonic water. So, yes, you can make some swaps and substitutions to create a version of this cocktail that does not contain alcohol.

More champagne cocktail recipes

— Did you make this recipe? —

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A French 75 with a lemon garnish.

French 75 Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Celebrate anything with a classic French 75 cocktail, a champagne drink made with gin or vodka, lemon and simple syrup.
4.98 from 43 votes
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ingredients

  • 2 ounces London Dry gin
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce lemon juice fresh-squeezed
  • 3 ounces champagne brut, chilled
  • lemon twist for garnish

instructions

  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine gin, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake vigorously.
  • Strain into a champagne flute. Top with champagne.
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel or twist. Serve immediately.

notes

While this cocktail is pretty straightforward, here are a few tips to make it the most successful:
  • Always let the bottle of champagne chill well before you plan to use it. Cold champagne will make the flavors of your French 75 much better and will keep the drink crisp and cold! The carbonation of the champagne will also be bubblier when it is cold.
  • Serve each cocktail immediately after pouring. This is best practice to keep the champagne bubbly and the cocktail cold.
Try one of the many variations on this cocktail by substituting the classic gin for other spirits: 
  • French 76: vodka
  • French 77: gin and elderflower liqueur
  • French 95: whiskey 
  • French 125: cognac 
  • French .45: brandy

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nutrition information

Yield: 1 cocktail

amount per serving:

Serving: 6ounces Calories: 217kcal Carbohydrates: 13g Protein: 0.2g Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0.01g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 15mg Potassium: 109mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 12g Vitamin A: 4IU Vitamin C: 13mg Calcium: 18mg Iron: 1mg
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