I love to call this the
celebration cocktail. And while there are so many wonderful champagne-based cocktails that could also be dubbed as such, I just can’t help but say that this is the one. A classic French 75 brings me visions of smoky, dimly-lit bistros that resound with laughter and delight. I picture people celebrating life and love, all while clinking glasses over wax-filled votives.
I envision the French 75 in their hypothetical glasses for many reasons, but mostly because it’s mild enough to appeal to most. I love the botanical essence of the gin mixed with the effervescent sweetness of the sparkling wine.
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The simple syrup pairs perfectly with the lemon, creating a slightly sour flavor that tickles the sides of your tongue. This vision is romantic and fun, and just the inspiration you need when planning a cocktail.
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I used to have this funny apprehension about making my own drinks at home. I usually just poured a glass of wine and saved the cocktails for restaurants.
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I think I was afraid that they were slightly too complicated and called for too many funky ingredients. And while that can be true, it doesn’t have to be. I’ve learned over the years that if you stock a few essentials you’re golden to make a drink whenever the moment strikes.
Here’s what I like to keep stocked:
- 3-5 Lemons
- 3-5 Limes
- Simple Syrup (check out our simple syrup recipe and a few infusion ideas, too!)
- A sweet liquor such as Grand Marnier/Triple Sec, Blood Orange Liqueur or Elderflower Liqueur
- Sparkling Wine
- Red Wine
- White Wine
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That’s it! And while you can customize it to fit your preferences, like to include Rum or Vodka. Or add to it as you develop a regular cocktail schedule, it doesn’t take much to get you off the ground. With these baseline components, you’ll be shaking something delicious in no time.
- 4 oz gin
- 1.5 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 4 oz sparkling wine, chilled and divided into 2 oz. per serving
- Fill a shaker with ice. Pour gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake for 30 seconds.
- Strain mixture evenly into two coupe or champagne glasses.
- Top with 2 oz. sparkling wine. Garnish with a fresh twist of lemon. Enjoy!
Gin. I enjoy Hendrick’s Gin and usually keep it stocked, however I’ve heard that a French 75 can be made using cognac or rum. I’ve never had it this way, but if you prefer those liquors, go for it!
Lemons. I add a little more freshly squeezed lemon juice and that’s because I like a slightly sourer cocktail. If you want it as classic as it gets, reduces the lemon juice to 1.5 oz.
Simple Syrup. Click here for a recipe on how to make your own simple syrup using ingredients you most likely already have on hand.
Sparkling Wine. Use whatever you enjoy!! This cocktail can handle anything from sweet sparkling wine to dry champagne. I usually pick a middle-of-the-road sparkling wine to mix in cocktails and save the nice stuff for sipping.