The origins of the French 75 cocktail are somewhat debatable, with claims to both a British and a French birthplace since the drink gained popularity at the same time in both countries. The “proper” recipe is still sometimes debated as either using gin or cognac, with gin likely owing to a supposed British origin, and cognac obviously leaning toward the French.
Around 1922, in the midst of Prohibition, a “75” cocktail recipe was published consisting of grenadine, absinthe, Calvados and Gin, but somewhere around 1927 the recipe shifted, Champagne was added, and we first see the “French 75” cocktail recipe appear in print. On the cocktail front in the mean time, it was already a long tradition for barkeeps and mixologist soldiers to fortify their champagne with various hard liquors to put an extra kick in their cups. It’s no surprise this cocktail earned its name from the high-power 75mm field guns used in World War I that supposedly packed the same force when fired.
We favor the gin version of this drink, and this time used rosé champagne with an added splash of blood orange juice to give our recipe a radiant hue (perfect for Valentine’s Day). Brace yourself when drinking more than one of these – the citrus and simple syrup make this powerful cocktail seem quite innocent, but this French 75 may cause you to surrender sooner than you think.
- ¾ oz gin
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
- ¼ oz fresh blood orange juice
- 3 oz rosé champagne or sparking wine
- Lemon peel or blood orange peel twist for garnish
- Pour the gin, simple syrup, lemon juice and blood orange juice in a shaker.
- Shake vigorously with two ice cubes, then pour into a coup or champagne glass.
- Top off the glass with the champagne.
- Garnish with lemon or blood orange peel twist, then serve.