Cocktail of the Month strikes again, this time with a cocktail specifically picked for that February 14th holiday! I mean, who doesn’t like to pop some champagne, get some chocolate covered strawberries, and celebrate? The French 75 is a classic from prohibition era.
Wait, how can a classic cocktail come from the prohibition era? Well, from my research, the cocktail actually originated in the 19th century. However, it became famous in the 1920s when it was included in a couple of cocktail recipe books. Since then it’s been referenced in one of the greatest films of all time, Casablanca, as well as two John Wayne movies!
Despite this being a champagne based cocktail, the other major spirit included is gin. Full disclosure, gin is one of my least favorite spirits. It probably comes from my college days when I had a real bottom shelf gin. It’s also why I have a rule to not drink alcohol that came in a plastic bottle. But, if the French 75 is good enough for the Duke, it’s good enough for me!
How to Make a French 75
The French 75 is a relatively simple cocktail that consists of 4 ingredients. Combine the gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Here’s my favorite part (from my Bill’s Famous Martini post), shake the dickens out of that thing! You want that sucker cold, so shake until your fingers are numb and your arms feel like they are about to fall off.
Strain into a champagne flute (see note below) and float the champagne on top. Garnish with a lemon twist, and toast to the roaring 20s.
Seeing as the theme of this cocktail is the 1920s, and it’s the February Cocktail of the Month, why not a 1920s love song? Someday You’ll Say OK – Arthur Fields Assassinators is just what’s needed, so get out you flapper Gatsby pillbox hat and do the Charleston!
- A French 75 is very similar to a Tom Collins, which is why some variations have it served in a highball glass. I, actually, don’t own a champagne flute, so I used a highball glass.
- Since the French 75 is not served over ice, you really need to prioritize the shaking to get the coldest cocktail possible.
- Cocktail shaker
- 1½ ounces gin
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- 2 ounces Champagne
- Lemon twist for garnish
- Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.1½ ounces gin, ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice, ¾ ounce simple syrup
- Strain cocktail through a Hawthorne strainer or a slotted spoon into a large flute. Top with Champagne; garnish with lemon twist.2 ounces Champagne, Lemon twist