The French 75 is the perfect combination of gin, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and simple syrup…nicely topped with a bubbly layer of champagne. The cocktail’s surprisingly similar to the Tom Collins, except the French 75 replaces club soda with sparkling wine.
Overview of the French 75
The French 75 offers a well-balanced profile and a unique heritage. It’s named after the famous French 75mm Field Gun, who’s accuracy and rapid-firing capability made it the best artillery piece of its day. Accordingly, the French 75 packs a punch that’s synonymous with its namesake.
Technically, the name “French 75” refers to the cocktail made with gin, but few differentiate it as such. The French 125 is the name designated to the cognac version. For the sake of authenticity, this recipe will only use gin.
The French 75 (aka Diamond Fizz) is an adaptation of your basic 2:1:1 cocktail. This means that the recipe calls for two parts base spirit (gin), 1 part sweetener (simple syrup), and 1 part sour (lemon juice). These combinations can vary slightly based on preference, spirit, and sweetener used. This ratio’s used in many popular cocktails including the Margarita, Lemon Drop, Gimlet, Sidecar, Whiskey Sour(ish), etc… and is generally considered the golden formula for many sour cocktails.
Gin’s an elderly spirit. It was first distilled by monks in the 11/12th century, then perfected by the Dutch a few hundred years later. Since then, the spirit’s been a mainstay in many classic cocktails including the Martini, the Negroni, and of course…the French 75.
The quality of the spirit is largely based on its raw ingredients and the distillation process used. London dry gin is the most commonly used type of gin in the French 75. Great examples include:
Lemon juice offers a tart balance between gin’s botanical aroma(s) and the simple syrup.
Freshly-squeezed juice is always the way to go when it comes to cocktail mixology. Bottled juice can sit on a store shelf for day, weeks, or even months. This aging process allows the juice to oxidize in the bottle, and replaces once natural and vibrant flavors with a bitter, less palatable substitute.
Granted, a purist would need a decent amount of experience and skill to routinely taste the difference between fresh and bottled juice. But…when fresh juice is so easy to prepare and avoids the introduction of preservatives into the cocktail…the question really becomes…why not?
Lemons are inexpensive at most grocery stores and available year round; the only tools you’ll need is a steady kitchen knife and a quality citrus juicer/press.
Note: On average, 1 medium lemon produces 1-2 fl oz conservatively; something to keep in mind when preparing ingredients.
In the United States, the most common type of simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of equal parts sugar to water. Traditionally, the French 75 calls for a 2:1 simple syrup, which…as you might guess, represents a syrup comprised of two parts sugar to one part water. This “sweeter” version is the standard syrup in the United Kingdom. In the U.S., it’s commonly referred to as “rich simple syrup.”
The ratio of simple syrup used doesn’t really matter, so long as the recipe is changed accordingly. This recipe calls for 1:1 simple syrup. If rich simple syrup’s used, consider using 1/2 fl oz of syrup instead of the 3/4 fl oz noted below.
How to Make a French 75
A refreshingly simple French 75 cocktail recipe!
- 1.5 fl oz Gin
- 3/4 fl oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3/4 fl oz Simple Syrup
- 4 fl oz Champagne
- Cubed Ice
- In a cocktail shaker: combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice.
- Shake ingredients vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
- Strain mixture into a chilled collins glass, coupe, or flute.
- Top with champagne (i.e. sparkling wine).
- Add a lemon twist for garnish.
*Nutrition information is approximate and varies depending upon ingredients used.
- Category: Cocktail
- Serving Size: 1-3
- Calories: 240
Keywords: French 75, Gin, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Champagne, Sparkling Wine
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