French 75 is a cocktail prepared by mixing gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar. The cocktail was created at the noted ‘Harry’s New York Bar’ in Paris by its owner, Harry MacElhone. The concoction was particularly strong and the experience on consuming it was figuratively compared to that experienced when hit by a French 75 mm Howitzer artillery shell, hence the name. The drink was first served in 1915 and is also known as a 75 Cocktail and Soixante Quinze in France.
The method of preparation involves shaking the gin, lemon juice and sugar vigorously over ice in a cocktail shaker. It is then poured into a chilled highball glass or a Collins glass. The container is filled to the brim with champagne just before serving with a twist of lemon.
Other than the popular theory, there is also a disputable fact of Raoul Lufbery, the French pilot, being the creator of the potent cocktail. However, his recipe is based on cognac and champagne instead of gin. David Embury, author of ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks,’ describes the drink as being cognac based as well.
French 75 gained popularity across United States of America after it began to be served at the Stork Club. The Savoy Cocktail Book published in 1930 recorded the first recipe for this gin and champagne based cocktail drink.
Ingredients and Preparation
The standard recipe for French 75 calls for an equal amount of gin and lemon juice to be shaken together with castor or granulated sugar. The amount of champagne is considerably higher than the other ingredients and it is poured into the drink just before serving. Apart from the conventional lemon wedge, the cocktail glass can also be decorated with a slice of orange or a cherry.
The cognac version of the recipe is more or less similar to the gin version, being completely replaced by Hennessy Cognac and topped off with Dry champagne.
Variations Of French 75
· Rose 75- Described as a feminine cocktail, it contains the lighter, pink hued rose champagne.
· Sloe Soul 75- A fruity combination of Sloe Joe and Chambord.
· Orange French 75- The lemon juice is replaced by blood orange juice.
French 75 Drink: Trivia
A French 75 prepared with vodka instead of gin is known as French 76.