French 75

updated Mar 13, 2024

This classic cocktail is a mix of gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup, with Champagne poured on top.

MakesMakes 1 drink

Prep5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Whenever I want a light cocktail before dinner or a drink to go with brunch, I always opt for the elegant French 75 — not a classic mimosa. With a bright, sunny color, this sparkling, lemon-y cocktail is refreshing, crisp, and bright, with subtle notes of herbs from the gin.

A French 75 is great classic cocktail to celebrate milestones or special events with (it just might be the ultimate Valentine’s Day libation!), but it’s also a great excuse to break open a bottle of Champagne any day you feel like popping a cork. (And if you need help choosing the right bottle, we’ve got you covered in our Champagne 101 guide.)

What Is a French 75?

A French 75 is a classic bubbly cocktail that contains gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne. It was created at Harry’s Bar in Paris during World War 1, and the 75 in the name is said to refer to the 75-millimeter field guns used in the war. There has been some debate that the French 75 was originally made with cognac rather than gin, but it is now known as a gin-based cocktail.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Key Ingredients in a French 75

  • Lemon. You’ll need a whole lemon for its zest and juice. For a slightly more floral French 75, use a Meyer lemon instead.
  • Gin. Any kind of gin will work here; choose your favorite or go with London dry for a more herbaceous flavor. I like the citrus and juniper notes of Gray Whale gin with the Champagne and lemon in this drink.
  • Simple syrup. Stick to a simple syrup that’s equal parts water and sugar.
  • Sparkling wine. Use a dry sparkling wine, such as brut Champagne, to balance out the sweetness in the simple syrup. Make sure it’s chilled, as it’s poured straight into the glass after the base of the cocktail is shaken and strained.

How to Make a French 75

  • Zest and juice the lemon. Peel off a strip of the zest with a channel knife (if you want a thin, skinny lemon twist) or vegetable peeler for garnish, then juice the lemon.
  • Shake the cocktail. Shake the lemon juice, gin, simple syrup, and ice together until the outside of the shaker is frosty.
  • Strain and top with bubbly. Strain the cocktail in a Champagne flute and top with chilled dry sparkling wine. Then, twist the lemon peel to release some of the oils over the cocktail and garnish with the peel.

If you plan on making multiple French 75s, I recommend zesting and juicing all the lemons first. You can double everything to make two drinks at a time in the shaker, but I wouldn’t do more than two to make sure the cocktails get chilled and diluted properly with the ice.

More Champagne Cocktails

French 75 Cocktail Recipe

This classic cocktail is a mix of gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup, with Champagne poured on top.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes Makes 1 drink

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 1/2 ounces


  • 3/4 ounces

    simple syrup

  • Ice

  • 2 ounces

    chilled dry sparkling wine, such as brut Champagne


  1. Using a channel knife or vegetable peeler, peel a long strip of peel from 1 medium lemon. Juice the lemon until you have 3/4 ounce.

  2. Place the lemon juice, 1 1/2 ounces gin, and 3/4 ounce simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker halfway with ice, seal, and shake until the outside of the shaker is very frosty, about 20 seconds.

  3. Pour through a strainer into a Champagne flute. Slowly pour in 2 ounces chilled dry sparkling wine. Hold the lemon peel over the cocktail and twist the peel to express the oils onto the surface of the drink. Run the outside of the peel over the rim of the flute, then drop the peel into the cocktail.