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French 75 Recipe with Cointreau

Are you craving a sophisticated cocktail made with gin and champagne? If so, try our classic French 75 recipe with Cointreau added for balance and an extra punch. You can make it at home with just five ingredients plus ice.

Pouring Sparkling Wine into French 75 Cocktail

Check out 10 great summer sippers you can make at home. Our easy cocktail recipes will keep you cool until it’s time for winter warmers.

Maybe you love gin and maybe you don’t. It doesn’t matter when it comes to the French 75, a cocktail that features both gin and champagne. Adding fresh lemon juice and simple syrup transforms the potent potables into an effervescent sipper that’s fun to drink regardless of your affinity (or lack thereof) for gin.

Simultaneously sweet and sour, the French 75 is a lush cocktail that you can quickly make at home for a quiet night with a special someone. It’s also a classy cocktail that you can prepare in advance for a party, splashing on the bubbly as you serve each glass to your guests.

French 75 on the Street
We drank this French 75 cocktail in Lisbon.

As for us, it was love at first sip when we drank our first French 75 cocktails at Luke in New Orleans back in 2013. Little did we know that we’d eventually savor classic French 75 drink in Paris where they were invented and later make them in our adopted city of Lisbon.

Based on research, both online and in the kitchen, we’ve adapted a recipe for French 75 cocktails that’s as easy to follow as it is to drink. We craft our version of the sophisticated sipper to our personal taste by adding Cointreau to deepen the flavor. The result is a classic cocktail that you’ll want to drink again and again.

What is a French 75 Cocktail?

French 75 Liquor
You need classic liquor to craft classic cocktails.

You’ve probably sipped a French 75 before but do you know the French 75 history?

Although versions of the bubbly cocktail date back to the 19th century, the numeric name doesn’t emanate from a year like 1875 as you may guess. Instead, the drink’s unlikely namesake is the French 75 field gun used during World War I – a weapon equally as powerful as the gin and champagne cocktail. Kapow!

Daryl Drinks French 75 Cocktail
Daryl enjoys drinking French 75 cocktails – especially when he’s next to tiles that match his shirt.

In simple terms, a French 75 is a champagne martini. You can order one in France by asking for a Soixante Quinze (Seventy Five) though most bartenders will understand the English translation.

For many years, the French 75’s popularity was specific to France where barflies drink the French cocktail in champagne flutes and coupe glasses. The sophisticated sipper jumped the pond decades later, achieving popularity in New York City before spreading its wings to lounges and hotel bars across the US.

Pro Tip

You can further explore cocktail history with this book or online. It’s interesting stuff.

How to Make a French 75 Cocktail

Crafting a French 75
Our French 75 cocktail recipe only takes five minutes from start to finish.

Making a French 75 is easy. You don’t need to take an expensive mixology class to craft this tasty tipple. However, you will need a cocktail shaker, jigger and strainer for best results.

Once you have the right tools as well as the necessary ingredients, you’ll be ready to shake your way to France without leaving your home kitchen.

Pro Tip

Investing in the right tools will enable you to craft quality cocktails including and beyond the French 75. You’ll quickly recoup the expense by drinking at home instead of at bars.

French 75 Ingredients

French 75 Ingredients
A lemon and simple sugar are the only non-alcoholic ingredients in this French 75 cocktail recipe.

Despite the fizzy cocktail’s luxurious reputation, the ingredients in a French 75 are quite simple starting with the following alcohol – gin and champagne. Our recipe adds Cointreau liqueur for an extra kick that rounds out the cocktail’s flavor profile.

We use Bombay dry gin at home but any good gin will work well in the recipe. Simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, lemon peel and ice complete the French 75 ingredient list. However, you can adjust the ingredients in various ways.

Pro Tip

Make simple syrup at home by boiling equal parts of water and sugar in a saucepan.

Portuguese Sparkling Wine
You can use any dry sparkling wine in our French 75 recipe. We use sparkling wine from Portugal in our home kitchen.

The most obvious French 75 variation is to use cava, prosecco or another dry sparkling wine instead of champagne. Since we live in Lisbon, we typically use a Portuguese sparkler that’s readily available at local markets and liquor stores.

Despite this variation, the drink retains its ‘Frenchness’ thanks to the addition of orangy Cointreau. If you don’t have Cointreau on hand, you could use Grand Marnier or a citrus-flavored triple sec instead.

Frech 75 Cocktail Preparation
Pouring the French 75 is almost the final step. All that’s left is garnishing the cocktail with a lemon twist.

If you have all the ingredients except champagne – voila – you can make a Tom Collins. If you’re out of gin, you can make a French 75 with vodka or whiskey. Those two variations are known as French 76 and French 95 respectively.

Other options are to use brandy or cognac like they do in New Orleans and juice from a lime or blood orange instead of a lemon. Alternatively, you can add elderflower syrup or fresh mint to create an un-classic French 75 martini.

Drinking French 75 Cocktails at Home

French 75 Cocktail on the Ledge
You can drink a French 75 anywhere in the world. We drank this one at home in Lisbon.

The French 75 is an elegant cocktail that you can enjoy as an aperitivo with nuts or a cheese plate. You can also pair it with eggs benedict or waffles for a ramped-up brunch. First, though, we recommend mastering the classic French 75 by following our easy recipe.

Pouring Sparkling Wine into French 75 Cocktail

French 75 Cocktail with Cointreau

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Adding Cointreau to a French 75 elevates the classic cocktail to the next level. You'll want to drink this sophisticated sipper all year long.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz. gin (1 jigger)
  • 0.75 oz. Cointreau (1/2 jigger)
  • 1 tbsp simple syrup
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 5 ice cubes
  • splash of champagne
  • lemon twist

Instructions

  1. Pour gin, Cointreau, simple syrup and lemon juice into a shaker.
  2. Add ice cubes and shake until liquids are blended and chilled.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass or champagne flute.
  4. Top glass with champagne and gently stir.
  5. Add lemon twist as garnish.

Notes

  • Slice the lemon twist from the lemon peel before you squeeze out the lemon juice.
  • Adjust the amount of simple syrup if you want the cocktail to be more or less sweet.
  • Adjust the amount of lemon juice if you want the cocktail to be more or less tart.
  • Substitute champagne with cava, prosecco or other sparkling wine based on availability.
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 1g

    Nutrition Disclosure: We used an online calculator to calculate this information. Though 2foodtrippers.com has attempted to secure accurate data, these nutritional figures are estimates.

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    About the Authors

    Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

    Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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