The French 75 was created in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris—later Harry’s New York Bar—by barman Harry MacElhone. The combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun, also called a “75 Cocktail”, or “Soixante Quinze” in French.
Recipe below from “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” by Harry Craddock (1930).
- 2/3 oz. gin
- 1/3 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 spoonful “powdered” sugar (what we would call caster or ultra-fine sugar)
Pour into tall glass containing cracked ice and fill up with champagne.
The finer the sugar, the faster it will dissolve in the cocktail. You can make your own caster sugar by pulsing regular granulated sugar a few times in a food processor.
French 75 (Redux)
For a more modern take on the French 75, try the recipe below. I recommend using a citrusy or floral gin such as Uncle Val’s (pronounced citrus notes) or The Botanist (strong floral notes) for even brighter lemon flavor. If you are feeling particularly festive, this cocktail looks especially lovely when made with a rosé champagne (you can even add a rose petal as garnish for a romantic touch).
- 1 ounce gin
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
- brut champagne or a dry sparkling white wine (such as cava)
Combine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a glass. Top with champagne, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve.
last updated August 17, 2023