Gin Cocktail Recipes with Classic French 75
The French 75 cocktail is a timeless and iconic gin cocktail, lemon juice, sugar, and champagne concoction. This bubbly, bright, and perfectly balanced drink has been a staple of bars worldwide for over 100 years. While the original French 75 recipe is simplicity itself, today's bartenders have dreamed up delightful riffs on the classic. Read on for a brief history of the French 75, the original recipe, and five creative variations to mix up this eternally elegant cocktail recipe.
History Behind the Classic French 75 Gin Cocktail
The French 75 cocktail was created during World War I. As the story goes, the drink was invented by a World War I field captain with the 75th Artillery Regiment in France. The captain combined gin with Champagne—a splash of the latter packs a punch like the regiment's powerful French 75mm field guns, hence the name.
This quickly became one of the popular cocktails in Parisian bars and London American Bar at the Savoy Hotel. From there, it spread to bars around Europe and America throughout the 1920s-40s. The French 75 remains a beloved classic gin cocktail to this day.
The Classic French 75 Cocktail Recipe
The original French 75 cocktail recipe contains just four core ingredients, but when combined correctly, they create something extraordinary:
- 1-ounce gin- Go for a Gordon's London dry gin or citrus-forward gin like Tanqueray Rangpur.
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice - Always use freshly squeezed juice for the best flavour.
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup - Equal parts sugar and water dissolved together.
- 3 ounces brut Champagne or dry sparkling wine -Chilled ahead of time.
Add the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into a chilled and elegant cocktail glassware like champagne flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
5 Creative Twists on the Classic French 75 Cocktail
Once you've mastered the classic, try one of these deliciously inventive French 75 riffs:
French 75 with Elderflower Liqueur - For a sweet floral twist, use 1/2 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur instead of simple syrup—Bright elderflower pairs beautifully with the gin and lemon and gives the most elegant gin cocktail experience.
1. French 75 with Berries
Muddle 5 blackberries or raspberries in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. Strain into a glass and garnish with berries.
2. French 75 Spritz
Top your French 75 with 3 ounces of soda water instead of Champagne for a refreshing low ABV spritzer-style drink.
3. French 75 with Grapefruit
Use pink grapefruit juice instead of lemon for a citrusy variation. Adjust the simple syrup to 3/4 ounce to balance the grapefruit's tartness. This could turn out to be one of the popular cocktails loved by everyone.
4. Fall French 75
Use apple cider instead of Champagne and add 1/4 ounce cinnamon syrup to the shaker. Garnish with an apple slice—a perfect autumn twist.
The French 75 is endlessly adaptable to seasonal ingredients and creative flavours. Play with different gin styles, juices, liqueurs, and bubbly wines to invent your signature French 75 cocktail recipe. But when in doubt, you can always return to the vintage charm of the original. Santé!
Try making the classic French 75 cocktail, or get creative with these twist recipes for your next cocktail party and follow The Bar for more of such creative cocktail recipes.