What Goes Into A French 75 Cocktail?

The French 75 cocktail is a classic drink that has been a staple in bars for almost a century. It is named after the French 75mm field gun, which was used by French and American troops during World War I. The cocktail is said to have gained its name due to the way it packs a punch like the gun, thanks to its combination of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne.

While the French 75 cocktail is simple to make, it takes a skilled bartender to strike the perfect balance of flavors. The gin provides a strong base, while the lemon juice adds a tartness that is tempered by the sweetness of the simple syrup. The addition of champagne gives the drink a light and bubbly finish. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the ingredients that make up a French 75 cocktail and explore how to make the perfect one.

Key Takeaway
A French 75 cocktail typically consists of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne. The ingredients are combined in a shaker with ice and shaken until chilled, then strained into a champagne flute and topped with champagne. It is usually garnished with a lemon twist.

Origins of the French 75 Cocktail

The French 75 Cocktail is a classic drink that was initially invented in France during World War I. It is believed that American soldiers who were serving in France during the war came across this beverage and were drawn towards its refreshing taste. The drink received its name after the French 75mm gun, which was used during the war. It was called French 75 because the drink was an equal mix of gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar, which was said to have the same ‘kick’ as the gun when someone drank it.

Throughout the years, the drink has undergone various modifications with some people using cognac in place of the gin or adding additional flavors to the cocktail, such as elderflower liqueur or ginger syrup. Nevertheless, the French 75 continues to be a well-loved drink throughout the world, and its origin story is fascinating and rich with history.

The Key Ingredients in a French 75

The French 75 cocktail is a classic drink with a long and storied history. It is believed to have originated in Paris during World War I and was named after the powerful French 75mm field gun that was used during the war. The cocktail is made with a combination of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne or sparkling wine, which creates a refreshing and bubbly drink that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day.

The key ingredients in a French 75 cocktail are gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne or sparkling wine. The gin is the base spirit and provides the alcoholic kick, while the lemon juice adds a tart and refreshing flavor to the drink. The sugar helps to balance out the sourness of the lemon juice and adds sweetness to the cocktail. Finally, the Champagne or sparkling wine provides the fizziness and effervescence that makes the French 75 so enjoyable to drink. Together, these ingredients create a classic and sophisticated cocktail that has stood the test of time.

The Importance of Gin Selection

The French 75 cocktail is a classic, sophisticated drink that requires excellent ingredients, including the perfect gin. The key to creating the perfect French 75 cocktail is finding the right gin with a perfect balance of juniper, botanicals, and citrus notes.

When choosing a gin for a French 75, it’s essential to consider the flavor profile and the degree of alcohol content. The gin should be a high-quality spirit with a strong and unique taste. Most bartenders prefer to use London Dry gin due to its crisp, juniper-forward flavor, which perfectly complements the other ingredients used in the cocktail. The gin should be of good quality, and should not overpower the delicate balance of lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne in a French 75. With the right gin, you can create a French 75 that your guests will love and remember.

Tips for Making the Perfect Simple Syrup

One of the essential ingredients in a French 75 cocktail is simple syrup. This sweetener helps balance the bitter taste of gin and lemon juice. Making a perfect simple syrup is crucial to the quality of your cocktail. Here are some tips to help you make it just right.

First, use equal parts of sugar and water to make your syrup. For example, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Heat the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Then allow the syrup to cool down to room temperature before using it. Another tip is to store it in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a month. Making good simple syrup is all about precision, so be sure to measure the ingredients and watch the heat carefully. By following these simple tips, you can make the perfect simple syrup and elevate your French 75 cocktail game.

The Importance of Fresh Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice plays a vital role in creating the perfect French 75 cocktail. It provides a tangy and slightly acidic flavor that balances the sweetness of the sugar syrup and gin. The lemon juice is an essential ingredient that gives the cocktail a refreshing and subtle taste.

In addition to its taste, fresh lemon juice also adds a significant nutritional value to the cocktail. Lemon contains high amounts of Vitamin C and has antioxidant properties that improve the immune system and promote quick digestion. Therefore, serving a French 75 cocktail with a dash of fresh lemon juice is not only delicious but also a healthy drink option for revelers. So, whenever you’re making a French 75 cocktail, make sure to use a fresh lemon, to add a tantalizing zest to the drink and a boost your body’s essential nutrients.

The Art of Shaking & Straining

The art of shaking and straining is a crucial step in making a perfect French 75 cocktail. This step involves combining all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shaking it vigorously until the mixture is adequately chilled. The shaking process helps to dilute the alcohol and incorporate air to create a frothy texture that gives the cocktail its unique flavor and aroma.

After shaking the cocktail, you need to strain it into a chilled glass to remove any ice chips, fruit pulp, or other impurities that may affect the taste and texture of the drink. To achieve a smooth consistency, it’s essential to use a fine-mesh strainer or a cocktail strainer to ensure that only the liquid passes through, leaving the remainder behind. Once the French 75 cocktail is successfully strained, it’s ready to be garnished with a lemon twist and served chilled.

Serving Suggestions: Glassware & Garnishes

Glassware & Garnishes:

The French 75 cocktail is traditionally served in a flute glass. The tall and slender shape of the flute glass showcases the cocktail’s effervescence and elegant appearance. The glass enables the bubbles to rise from the bottom of the drink, and the narrow opening helps to preserve the scent of the ingredients.

As for garnishes, there are countless options to elevate the presentation of the French 75. A sprig of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or lavender adds a fragrant aroma and rustic touch. For a sweeter taste, a simple sugar rim, edible flower, or citrus twist complements the fresh, floral flavor of the cocktail. Ultimately, any garnish that complements the citrus notes of the drink can be used to create an irresistible French 75 cocktail.


The French 75 cocktail has an interesting history and unique combination of ingredients, making it a popular and refreshing drink. The mixture of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and champagne create a balanced flavor profile that enhances the botanicals of the gin and tartness of the lemon. The signature fizz from the champagne adds a lightness and elegance to the cocktail, making it a perfect choice for celebrations or a refreshing summer drink.

Although the origins of the French 75 are debatable, its popularity and versatility are not. This classic cocktail has stood the test of time and remains a beloved and sophisticated option for cocktail enthusiasts. Whether you prefer a traditional recipe or a modern twist on the classic, the French 75 is sure to impress and satisfy. Whether you’re at a fancy bar or mixing one up at home, the French 75 is a must-try for any cocktail lover.

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