French 75: A Cocktail Worth Knowing

Photo: Sue Barr(Getty Images)

With almost endless possibilities of mixing drinks, there is a need for a cocktail to provide for the satisfaction of taste buds, but also to draw the person glancing the drink menu. French 75 is one of those drinks, a cocktail that has stood the test of time, even though the inclusion of numbers in the name might seem like a modern trend. No, the French 75 exists for more than a hundred years and, while it might seem so, the name is not random, this cocktail probably has the coolest name origin.

French 75 History

Since the cocktail was first made in 1915, it was heavily influenced by the era in which it was created, and the area. The barman Harry MacElhone created it at the New York Bar in Paris, and the name came from the strong kick this elegant-looking drink had, similar to the power of the French 75mm artillery gun.

The French 75 cocktail was popularized in the United States at the Stork Club in New York, and was also seen in huge John Wayne movies and the 1942 classic Casablanca, adding to its following.

French 75 Ingredients

– Gin
– Champagne
– Ice
– Simple syrup
– Lemons

Again we dwell into the simple syrup, as that can be the most confusing part of this recipe to beginner mixers. Yet, it’s just a mixture of water and sugar in a 1:1 ratio. For instance, half a cup of warm water poured over half a cup of sugar, stirred and then diluted and cooled off.

French 75 Recipe

Naturally, during its 100 years history, French 75 recipe has changed multiple times, yet it stayed a vibrant drink for summer and spring days throughout the experiments. French 75 is a good day cocktail, it’s a perfect evening cocktail, hey, it’s even appropriate to enjoy it on your brunch as it has a refreshing, cultured, but unimposing taste which won’t clash with the food.

Despite being so elegant, light, and floral, French 75 is really simple to make and requires only four proper, fairly common ingredients. They don’t call it the Tom Collins in a tuxedo for nothing.

Start by icing up the champagne flute, that is, pour ice into it and set it aside. Squeeze half an ounce of lemon juice and pour it into the mixing glass, then add the same amount of simple syrup. Then proceed to pour an ounce of gin into the glass, add ice, put your mixer on the glass and give it a good, solid shake.

Since the champagne glass is suitably chilled, remove the ice from it, take out your strainer (some bartenders even use two!) so no shattered ice or lemon pith end up in the glass, and gently pour the liquid into the flute.

Now, the elegant part – pour an ounce of champagne in the glass, doing it slowly as well so that the bubbles don’t overflow.

A lot of cocktails, the majority of them, are garnished with lemons and oranges, so go for the both aesthetically and taste-wise perfect cherry since it is a special occasion cocktail after all. It will provide a great visual contrast to the clearness and the color of the French 75 drink, adding elegance, and a little attitude, drawing attention when you hold it. As it should, since, after all, it’s named after an artillery weapon!

There you go, you’ve now added the French 75 cocktail to your arsenal of cocktails, and it is a valuable addition since it’s very versatile and simple drink to make. One that your significant other would surely appreciate being served on a sunny day.

Try More Simple, Casual Summer Cocktails Like the Sweet Pina Colada and the Refreshing Mojito.