Make Your Mom a French 75 — or a CLASSIC French 75!

French75I used to drink martinis but I just can’t take that level of pure booze anymore so some years ago I started drinking gin cocktails served up like a martini but with citrus and simple syrup and maybe a little dash of something else for flavor. This switch put me a little ahead of the craft cocktail movement and I found myself struggling to find a cocktail that fit the bill–gin, citrus, sugar–that bartenders could make just right. The three classics I liked that seemed to be in everyone’s repertoire were the East Side, Corpse Reviver No 2 (for more on this one, check back on Father’s Day!), and the French 75. Problem with the French 75 is that, as a general rule, I don’t like ice or bubbles in my drink (unlike my special son who once ordered with a straight face, “a hamburger with cheese and a sprite with ice and bubbles.”) I make an exception for the French 75, however, which was often the only drink I liked that pretty much every bartender could make–assuming he had champagne that hadn’t gone flat.
Fast forward to today, and folks have gone so far into the craft cocktail movement, they’re coming up the other side (like some people say libertarians like me do in the political sphere!) and reviving the original recipes of the classic cocktails that survived the decades. That’s when they ruined the French 75–or so I thought–by making them “classic style.”…I now actually prefer the classic, though it doesn’t satisfy my gin craving so I do still go for the modern one occasionally, depending on my mood.
You decide what you think your mom would prefer, but remember–use the good stuff–gin, cognac, champagne–whatever your spirits, they have to be on the higher end–not vintage or XO, but a good dry brut, a VS or VSOP cognac, plymouth gin or better…

Modern French 75

1 1/2 ounce gin
3/4 ounce lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1/2 ounce simple syrup*
2 ounces champagne
Combine first three ingredients and shake over ice until well chilled (I always shake vigorously 30 times). Pour into a champagne flute, top with the champagne and garnish with a thin curled lemon peel (I’m incapable of this so I skip it.)
*1:1 sugar and water boiled til clear then chilled–you can heat it in the microwave for a minute or two, stirring a couple of times til the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup is clear

Classic French 75
same as modern, just swap out the gin with cognac, or–if you’re desperate–brandy

1 1/2 ounce cognac (or brandy)
3/4 ounce lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1/2 ounce simple syrup*
2 ounces champagne
Combine first three ingredients and shake over ice until well chilled (I always shake vigorously 30 times). Pour into a champagne flute, top with the champagne and garnish with a thin curled lemon peel (I’m incapable of this so I skip it.)

1 thought on “Make Your Mom a French 75 — or a CLASSIC French 75!

Leave a Comment

Skip to toolbar