Let’s be real, champagne and New Years go hand in hand! So, while a perfectly good glass of champs is a given and always a good call, a specialty cocktail is a great way to switch things up. A French 75 is a classic champagne cocktail that is a refreshing and tasty sip to enjoy anytime.
History of the French 75
“One story of this cocktail’s origins is that thirsty Allied soldiers created the drink during World War I when they wanted to mix highballs. Apparently club soda wasn’t available so they substituted Champagne. Because this high-caliber drink packed a powerful punch, it was named the French 75 after the Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, a.k.a. the French 75mm field gun, a piece of artillery that played a significant role in the Allied Forces’ victory.
This seems like a reasonable anecdote, except that the first documented recipe for the “75” (as it was originally named in Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails published a few years after the war in 1922) called for Calvados, Gin, Absinthe and grenadine—no Champagne whatsoever. The French 75 got both its current name and official recipe a few years later in 1927 in the cocktail recipe book Here’s How! by Judge Jr., which called for Gin, lemon juice, powdered sugar and Champagne. “This drink is what really won the war for the Allies,” said the description accompanying the recipe, which may be where the WWI soldier tale originated. (Source)”
French 75 Cocktail
- 1 oz Cognac (traditionally it called for gin, so feel free to switch it up..I just personally don’t care for gin)
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup (if you want a little more sweet add a touch more)
- Champagne (I used Le Grand Courtage Blanc de Blancs Brut, which is perfect in this cocktail)
I did it a potentially messy way (there may or may not have been a spill in the taking of these pics) given that I was using a flute instead of a coupe. I poured the cognac, lemon juice and simple syrup into the glasses and then topped with champagne. A lovely garnish is a lemon twist. Another option would be to pour the cognac, lemon juice, simple syrup over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour in glass, followed by topping with champagne.
Ét Voila! Cheers to the New Year darlings!
photos by Anne Kim of Laura Metzler Photography
This post was sponsored by Le Grand Courtage. All opinions are my own.