Cocktail Obsession: French 75

Image: The Intoxicologist Image: The Intoxicologist

“I drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I’m thirsty.”
~ Madame Lilly Bollinger


The cocktail called the French 75 is believed to have been created at Harry’s Bar in Paris around World War I  — the creator liked champagne, but wanted something with more of a kick — he mixed the champagne with cognac (which was readily available during wartime.) The resulting “kick” was said to feel like being shelled with the  French 75mm howitzer artillery piece, and thus the cocktail was named “The French 75”.  It is also known as a “Soixante Quinze,” or “75” in French.  The cocktail was also popularized in America at the Stork Club.


There is some controversy as to whether or not the drink should be made with gin or brandy, but I prefer the brandy version (Corridor 44 in Denver has an excellent version — I highly recommend a visit for the libations, decor and amazing bartenders).




The recipe:




1 oz brandy
3/4 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Lemon twist for garnish

Pour brandy, lemon juice and simple syrup over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well.
Strain into a large martini glass and top with champagne and lemon twist.

Voilà!  Happy drinking!


Recipe courtesy of Dale DeGroff, the “King of Cocktails”