French 75

The classic and first recorded recipe of French 75 can be found in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. It was created in 1915 for soldiers returning from the Great War and called thus because the kick it had, which resembled the kick of the French 75 field gun.

You can see the French 75’s kick in this video:

Anyway, the cocktail is just like that. Just kidding. It’s way more fun.

I made this cocktail using the recipe below for my family’s New Year’s Eve cocktail party consisting of two Champagne cocktails–Kir Royale and French 75–and several nibbles, including shrimp cocktail, cucumber cups filled with tuna and celery salad with parsley, hot salami bread bites and the fabulous kale bread bites with fennel and olives.

Clockwise from top left: Brie with crackers and mixed olives, cucumber cups with tun and celery, kale bread bites with fennel and olives, shrimp cocktail

Before moving on to the recipe, let me add two things:

  1. I did not add the sugar cube that’s often called for in this cocktail. I think the sugar in the Cointreau is sufficient and I really don’t like overly sweet cocktails. Some recipes don’t use the Cointreau at all, which I think is a mistake. The point is, the added sugar with the sugar in the orange liqueur is cloying and masks the alcohol. If that’s what you’re looking for, reach for a Seagram Ice.
  2. Use fresh lemon juice. I know I kind of went on about this in the first Friday Cocktail last week for The Mr. Adams but it really makes all, and I mean all, the difference in the world for this particular cocktail. The first time I tried this cocktail, it was made using the bottled stuff and I couldn’t understand its longevity. Now I get it.

Well, happy Friday and a good weekend to you.

French 75 (Adapted from
Makes 1 drink

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz gin. I used Bombay Sapphire.
1/2 oz Cointreau
Champagne or Prosecco. Low to mid-price bottle is perfectly fine for a cocktail.

Zest and juice a lemon. Pour the lemon juice, gin, and Cointreau into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into a Champagne flute or cocktail coup. Carefully add the Champagne or prosecco and garnish with lemon zest.

For more photos, go to Flickr.

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