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A classic Champagne cocktail from the French 75 Bar at Arnaud's in New Orleans.
- 1 ounce cognac, preferably Hennessy or Courvoisier vs
- ¼ ounce lemon juice
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- 3 ounces Champagne
- 1 lemon twist, for garnish
Shake the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain into a champagne flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with lemon twist.
French 75 Cocktail
STIR powdered sugar with lemon juice in base of shaker until sugar dissolves. Add gin, SHAKE with ice and fine strain into chilled glass. TOP with champagne and lightly stir. (Consider pouring half the champagne into the glass first to help reduce foaming.)
|1 &frasl2 shot||Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)|
|1 1 &frasl2 spoon||Powdered sugar (ground in mortar and pestle) (or use 5ml of 2:1 sugar syrup per spoon)|
|1 1 &frasl2 shot||Rutte Dry Gin|
|2 1 &frasl2 shot||Brut Champagne|
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The Top Shelf French 75
Shake first three ingredients over ice. Strain into a chilled flute, and top with about 3 oz. of chilled Champagne.
Using actual, real Champagne here is the quickest and best way to make this drink as good as it can be. Made as above, this is very much a cocktail defined by the sparkling wine (especially as it warms), and Champagne has the depth, power and grace to handle that responsibility. It&rsquos not important what kind of Champagne, there are enough rules in that part of the world that if the bottle says &ldquoChampagne,&rdquo it&rsquoll be great. Also an option here is a very high-quality Cava or Franciacorta, as long as they&rsquore made in the traditional method and have seen sufficient bottle conditioning.
A French 75 Cocktail With Cognac? You Better Believe It, And Check Your History.
Ever since it was published in The Savoy Cocktail Book and infiltrated the top bars in Paris and New York, the French 75 has reigned as one of the most elegant Champagne cocktails. Though some today try to serve it with gin as the base, Cognac is not only a far better choice in terms of flavor, but it was the original spirit used back in the early 1920s. However, there are other ways to make this drink even more decadent.
If there is one city that has carried on the tradition of the French 75 more than any other over the past century, it's New Orleans. At Restaurant R'evolution, just a few doors down from the historic Arnaud's French 75 bar in the French Quarter, they finish this cocktail with a choice of three top Champagnes. Beverage director Molly Wismeier explains the subtle differences in how the Dom Perignon 2000 "creates a toasty, warm brioche" effect, while the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2004 is more "lively filled with citrus layers," and how perhaps the most approachable option is the non-vintage Bourgeois-Diaz, providing an offering with "less mineral and body."
While pouring some of the finest Champagne into any cocktail is not an everyday occurrence, it does underscore that better ingredients can result in a better cocktail, if made well. I'd certainly love to be in NOLA to experience this rare treat first-hand, since it will only be offered this Valentine's Day. For the rest of us, more reasonably priced Champagnes or even substituting with dry sparkling wine is acceptable. While the French 75 is well-suited to romantic occasions, once you become acquainted with this delicious drink, it will also likely start to show up at your dinner parties and join you at cocktail bars rather quickly.
To make our No-Cook Simple Syrup, combine 2 cups each superfine sugar and water in an airtight container. Cover and shake until sugar dissolves. Makes 3 cups.
Stir gin, No-Cook Simple Syrup, and fresh lemon juice with ice in a medium pitcher for 10 seconds. Strain into Champagne flutes or coupe glasses.
Top with chilled Champagne (Prosecco or other sparkling wine works in a pinch). Garnish with lemon twists.
How would you rate French 75?
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Raspberry French 75
The French 75 has an interesting story.
It was created in 1915 by Harry MacElhone at the New York Bar in Paris.
As you can imagine, a drink combining gin and champagne is quite potent, and the cocktail was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun.
I can't attest to that, but it is a potent (albeit delicious) drink! And this raspberry, gin, and champagne cocktail is such fun twist on the classic recipe!
Always Order Dessert
I can't remember the first time I tried a French 75 cocktail, but I do know it was love at first sip.
The sparkling combination of champagne with gin, fresh lemon juice, and just a hint of sugar is one of my favorite cocktails at parties or to enjoy as an aperitif at the start of the meal.
Named after the small, but powerful French 75 canon (aka the 75-millimeter M1897), the cocktail got it's name because its delicate look belies the strength of this champagne + gin combo.
In other words. they go down easy, but they pack a powerful punch!
Today, I'm sharing a little twist on that classic. This is a non-alcoholic French 75 mocktail, made with fresh lemon juice, sparkling tonic water, and a splash of citrus bitters. It has a similar flavor profile, but won't leave you flat on the floor at the end of the night.
Because of the gin, real French 75s have a bit of an herbal taste that is mimicked by the combination of bitters and tonic. If you're making this cocktail at home, I recommend buying really good tonic.
This means STAY AWAY from the stuff that comes in the plastic 1-liter bottle at the grocery store you want the fancy stuff in the pretty glass bottles.
My favorite brand is Fever Tree I always have a few bottles of their tonic and their club soda sitting in my home bar, but there are quite a few fancy brands out there now like Q Tonic or Fentiman's.
Instead of adding superfine sugar, I used rock candy swizzle sticks. They're pretty and festive and would be perfect for a cocktail party.
I used clear ones here, but you could also have fun with different color rock candy sticks, using ones that are pink or red or even blue! That would be a lot of fun for a baby shower or a teen birthday party.
Just a quick note about bitters: You can find bitters at well-stocked grocery stores, gourmet shops, or liquor stores. They're also available on Amazon.
There are both alcoholic and non-alcoholic kinds available, but know that even the ones that do have some alcohol it's in such a negligible amount that it it's about the same as something like vanilla or peppermint extract. Choose what works best for you!
Racy Strawberry French 75 Cocktail
There’s a watering hole just a few blocks away from our place in St. Paul that I can’t stop going to, The Commodore. It was a swanky St. Paul hotel (with a bar) in the 1920’s and 30’s, a time when gangsters made their way through the Wabasha street caves, jazz became glamorous, and women were shortening their skirts a little more each day. Famous people walked through the doors often, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was in the midst of writing some of his most iconic American novels — like The Great Gatsby, the book and movie painting such a clear picture picture of this time period.
Glittering bottles of liquor, vintage stemware, black and white tiled floors, history running through its veins.
Every time I walk in, the speakeasy vibe has me thinking about the racy flapper dress I might have wore, the Strawberry French 75 cocktail I would have been drinking, and the man I would have had my eyes on.
The Great Gatsby was actually where the inspiration for this bubbly, Strawberry French 75 came from, which happened to be the drink of choice for Jordan Baker, a friend of Daisy’s who loved to play golf – just like me (side note: I played competitive golf for 20 years, and went to college on a scholarship). Traditionally made from gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar, the French 75 was named after a small, powerful gun used during World War I, and has made its way through the decades.
I’m not much of a cocktail aficionado, but this tall drink isn’t complicated, and could fool anyone with its fancy glow. It’s racy and vivacious, just like the 1920’s were. There’s something very sensuous about it……. ruby red and piquant.
The herbacious quality of gin (I prefer Hendricks) is dynamite with the quick strawberry puree – which is just blended California Giant Berry Farms strawberries, fresh lemon juice, and a smidge of maple syrup.
Topped off with an affordable pour of bubbly (Cava or Prosecco is in my budget, but Champagne for the purists if you like)….. it’s the kind of thing I love to sip at brunch, or as a pre-dinner libation. And if you prefer a little less zing, simply leave out the gin.
From my glass to yours, happy summer cocktailing. xo
Recipe: Blackberry French 75
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup fresh blackberries
- 1 oz Gin
- 1 tablespoon fresh Lemon juice
- 2 oz Champagne
- fresh blackberries and lemon rind for garnish
- In a small pan, add the water, sugar and blackberries. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring and then strain into a heat proof container like a mason jar. Set aside until cool and then chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 2 tablespoons of the blackberry simple syrup, 1 ounce gin, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and then shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass and then top with about 2 ounces of champagne. Garnish with a lemon rind and fresh blackberry if desired.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 1
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Hi Guys! I’m enjoying my last few days in the city and have been gobbling and drinking my way through New York at a fairly disturbing rate thank you very much. I feel like I have honed over eating to an art form in the last week. Oink oink.
But I have also come across lots of amazing dishes that I can’t wait to recreate for you once I am back in my own kitchen! Oh yes, and drinks too! I had an amazing classic French 75 the other night and it reminded me that I should share this cocktail with you asap.
This blackberry French 75 has all of the charm and elegance of the original but with the added flavor and color of blackberry. It’s totally lovely and perfect for Summer entertaining. Enjoy!
How to Make a French 75
Tip: For a less combative drink, ease up on the gin. But that's not how we recommend it.
Don't let the pastel fizziness and overwhelming effervescence of a French 75 fool you the cocktail holds enough alcohol to give an army a heady buzz. That's the sneakiness inherent to the booze-and-bubbles drink combo&mdashand the reason we make 'em. The French 75, for its part, calls for London dry gin and brut champagne.
You'll come across plenty of French 75s served in champagne glasses sans ice. And sure, the champagne, even if it's cheap, feels fancier when it's sipped from a flut. But we prefer to build a French 75 like a Tom Collins, meaning in a Collins glass over ice with brut as a topper. The ice really adds to the refreshment factor, and, bonus, you can use less expensive champagne. Here's our method.
A Little Background
The French 75 is an old one. Cataloging its many appearances since the 1800s&mdashor at least, cocktails that bore some similarity to it&mdashyou'll find versions with applejack, cognac, grenadine, absinthe, the works. But gin is by and large the through line. And speaking of buzzing an army. The name "French 75," before it signified a cocktail that remains popular after one-hundred-plus years, referred to a type of 75mm cannon used by the French in WWI. La bonne soixante-quinze&mdashman, could that gun shoot well. Ammo that could pack a wallop, and a drink that did the same? No wonder the cocktail co-opted the name somewhere along the line.
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If You Like This, Try These
If you replace the champagne in a French 75 with club soda, you've got yourself a Tom Collins. If you shake the gin, lemon, and sugar then strain them into a coupe, no bubbly, then you've got yourself a classic Gin Fizz. As for another killer booze-and-bubbly cocktail, try the Air Mail, which pairs gold rum with brut champagne.