The French 75 (or “75”) is fizzy, lemony, and delivers a such a kick that drinkers said it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75 mm gun during World War I.
Created by bartender Harry MacElhone at the New York Bar in Paris, 1915, the original recipe was a champagne cocktail containing cognac. The drink with its name become popularized throughout the 1920’s.
Later variations of the French 75 use gin instead, which has become a common liquor for the drink. In New Orleans, however, they still make the drink with the original cognac. It is an International Bartenders Association official cocktail and considered a contemporary classic.
In French, the drink is simply a Soixante Quinze (“Seventy Five”).
- 1.5 oz Cognac or Gin
- 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
- 0.5 oz fresh Lemon Juice
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
- Add the cognac or gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice; shake well
- Strain into a martini or champagne glass
- Top with champagne, stir gently, and serve
French 75 Drunk History Bits:
- First recorded as the “75” in Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails (1922 edition) by Harry MacElhone
- The recipe took its now-classic form in Here’s How (1927) by Judge Jr. (consisting of gin, sugar, lemon juice, and champagne)
- The embellished name, “French 75”, came when the recipe was republished in The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930)
- The French 75 was popularized in the U.S. at the Stork Club in New York
- It appears in the movie Casablanca (1942)
- It is referenced twice in John Wayne films: A Man Betrayed (1941) and Jet Pilot (1957)
Main image credit: Bulgarian Artillery