The French 75, or Soixante Quinze if you speak Français, is a classic cocktail dating all the way back to 1927. The recipe for this timeless concoction was first printed during Prohibition, when all the rebellious bootleggers were struggling to get their booze fix. It’s unsure who mixed the original French 75, but it quickly became a popular new cocktail in the speakeasy scene. It’s said that the French 75 was the only classic cocktail recipe to come out of the USA during the 11 years of Prohibition. We doubt it’s the only recipe that was experimented with during that time, but it must’ve been the only one the bootleggers deemed worthy of adding to menus post-dry period.
December 5th was Repeal Day. Raise your glass and celebrate the repeal of Prohibition with our fave, the French 75.
The French 75
1 ½ oz. gin
1 ½ tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tbs. simple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
¼ cup dry sparkling wine
- Chill sparkling wine for at least 1-2 hours before serving.
- Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
- Add 1 cup of ice.
- Shake mixture vigorously for 20 seconds (approximately the amount of time that it takes Outkast to “shake it like a polaroid picture, oh yeah”).
- Strain mixture into a chilled serving glass.
- Top glass with dry sparkling wine.
- Use a sharp paring knife to carefully slice the peel of the lemon into one thin strip.
- Twirl the sliced lemon peel around your finger to give it a little spiral and place it in the drink for garnish!
Though any sparkling wine will do well in this classic cocktail, we suggest using a dry sparkling wine. Sweet sparkling wines are spotlighted in plenty of other recipes. In the 75, let your dry sparkling wine shine!
How can you tell if the sparkler you’re grabbing from the shelf falls under that category? Look for words like “brut” or “extra brut” on the label. Though sparkling wine is made in various locations around the world, this drink is called the “French” 75. So, we suggest selecting Champagne as your sparkling wine of choice (for the sake of authenticity).
To truly enjoy the intoxicating flavors of the French 75, make sure you surround yourself with friends. In true speakeasy fashion, turn up the tunes and put on your dancing shoes. Also, take time to do something the original French 75ers never could: toast to an America where alcohol is not only legal, but can even be delivered to your door!