Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by David Michael
The French 75
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French 75s by the glass or by the pitcher makes for an elegant and festive gathering. Whether you prefer them made with gin or cognac, they’re always delicious. The sophistication of this classic cocktail belies its simple preparation.
An early recipe for the French 75 as we know it appeared in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. Its origins, like many classic cocktails, are clouded in a hazy alcohol induced fog. So many of our cocktails get attributed to Harry’s American Bar in Paris. Harry MacElhone, the owner of Harry’s bar had published the recipe back in 1919, in his book, The ABCs of Mixing Drinks and credited the bartender MacGarry of Buck’s Club in London with the French 75.
Gin or Cognac
I personally like the gin version a little better than the cognac. The champagne opens up the botanical flavors of the gin and makes for a drink that smells as good as it tastes. It seems a little lighter and brighter, perfect for a pre dinner cocktail. Don’t get me wrong though, I would never turn down a French 75 made with cognac. They’re both delicious.
French 75 Recipe
2 ounces gin or cognac
1 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Garnish: lemon twist
In a cocktail shaker combine the gin or cognac, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice.
Strain into a flute and top with Champagne.
Garnish with a lemon twist.
For serving a crowd it’s easiest to mix them up in a large batch and serve from a pitcher. Perfect for keeping on a table for brunch.
French 75 by the Pitcher
1 cup gin or cognac
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup simple syrup
Garnish: lemon twist
Add gin or cognac, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup to a pitcher and stir.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, pour 3 ounces into a Champagne flute and top with chilled Champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Make your gathering festive and elegant with the classic French 75!
To make your French 75s even easier, use a juicer to get as much fresh juice from your lemons with the least amount of effort. Have a look at our Best Citrus Juicer picks for our recommendations.
Browse all of our cocktail recipes in our Cocktail Recipe Index.
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Recommended Products for the French 75
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These are the champagne flutes that I use. They are tall, elegant, and have the perfect shape.
I love the heavy duty Zulay citrus juicer to quickly make enough fresh lemon juice for several pitchers worth of French 75s.
This is the zester / channel knife that I use to get perfect lemon twists.
An elegant way to keep your French 75 base on the table ready to mix with bubbly.