French 75 with lemons, gin and champagne

French 75 Cocktail

French 75 with lemons, gin and champagne
French 75 Cocktail with lemon juice, gin and champagne

The French 75 is a classic drink that is both elegant and easy to make. Created in Paris in 1915, the cocktail quickly became popular on both sides of the Atlantic. It is traditionally made with champagne, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and gin. However, if you prefer, you can swap the gin for cognac or brandy.

I used to avoid making cocktails that require simple syrup – the extra step always seemed too fussy and I shy away from complicated recipes. But then I made simple syrup and it was…simple. All you have to do is heat one cup water and one cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, which should take less than 10 minutes. Let the syrup cool and store any excess in a glass mason jar. It can be stored up to one month.

French 75

Ingredients (one serving)

  • One lemon
  • 1 ounce gin
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Champagne or sparkling wine (2 or 3 ounces)

If you want to get fancy, peel the lemon and set aside for a garnish.

Fill a cocktail shaker with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake for 15 seconds.

Strain into a champagne glass. Garnish with said lemon peel.

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