Quick – what has as much punch as a WWI French artillery gun, but is as classy as a Parisian ball? Answer: The French 75.
The French 75 is a true classic cocktail. Refreshing, effervescent, and elegant… just like the artillery gun it was named after. There were mentions of similar mixes as far back as Queen Victoria’s time, however, the first named recording (in 1927) of the modern day drink happened during the darkest of times – prohibition.
It’s been a long time since those cold, dry days, so what has given the French 75 such staying power over nearly a century of existence?
The French 75 is as refreshing and elegant in 2016 as it was back in the 1920s. The bite of the gin (or cognac), the tartness of the lemon, the sweetness of the sugar along with the effervescence of the bubbles, creates a delightful cocktail easily enjoyed on any occasion.
Part of what makes this cocktail fun is the world of variation that can be brought to it. The flavour (and cost) of the French 75 will change grandly depending on the gin and bubbles used. These variations allow for a broad spectrum of flavours to be embraced when creating your own French 75.
Of course, the important thing is that you enjoy what you are consuming. The second most important thing (of course) is that you look good with your drink in your hand, and the French 75 helps you do just that.
Royal French 75 Recipe
1 oz Hennessy VS Cognac
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz 1:1 simple syrup
3 oz Moët & Chandon Champagne
Wet shake the cognac, lemon juice, and simple syrup together. Double strain into a Champagne flute and top with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.
The above recipe is the best version I’ve created; this is the perfect celebration cocktail. However, it is quite expensive, so feel free to substitute your favourite gin for the cognac, and your favourite sparkling wine for the champagne, for more reasonably priced versions.