French 75 recipe
1½ oz. gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. simple syrup (or 1 tsp sugar)
Shake gin, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice. Strain into a champagne flute. Top with chilled champagne. Gently stir. Optionally garnish with a fresh raspberry dropped in the drink.
The French 75 is a versatile showcase for both classic and contemporary style gins. Plymouth Gin is a classic go-to. Dial it up to its namesake with Navy Strength.
But given the champagne usually dominates the flavor, the French 75 is a cocktail where even an inexpensive citrus-driven gin like New Amsterdam can ease into a starring role. My favorite is a simple, gently floral contemporary gin like Hendrick’s.
I tend to lean away from herbal and spice in a French 75.
History of the French ’75
The French 75’s origins are likely in the 19th century— a time when mixing spirits and wines were common. Wondrich cites literary titan Charles Dickens as an early drinker of something that sounds so tantalizingly close to the French 75, that he might be among the first written sources for combining gin with a champagne cup (which was a cocktail of citrus, sugar and champagne).
After WWI, the combination was given a sexy rebranding— named after the French machine gun— and the already commonplace cocktail took on a new contemporary relevance.
The drink’s first appearance in print under the name French 75. From Here’s How (1927). Judge Jr.’s recipe specifically calls for Gordon’s Gin.