The Class of ‘French 75’

Last week was my best friend, Damien’s, birthday so to celebrate we threw a lockdown BBQ with the permitted amount of people from the permitted number of households. And as every celebration should, we kicked off with a cocktail.

Cocktails can be a faff – and truth be told they always taste better when made by someone else. I learnt to make the staples while working in a restaurant in Paris… I’m no mixologist, but I do make a mean martini.

The French 75 has always been a favourite of mine – it is simple, needs no cocktail kit and has a degree of flexibility. The ‘Savoy Cocktail Book’ and ‘The Art of Mixing Drinks’ both have recipes for French 75. One uses gin, one uses cognac, both are served in long glasses over ice and both use sugar.

French 75 recipes
Two recipes, one drink and no agreement

Like its country namesake, the French 75 has had a revolution… I’ve only ever used gin; I’ve never used sugar and have only served in either a flute or a coupe without ice. This is standard.

So, here’s how to make a classy cocktail without the fuss of a shaker… but don’t forget the golden rule of cocktails; they are like boobs or legs* – one isn’t enough, two is just right, and three is too many.

* Use the appropriate analogy for your audience.

Music to listen to while making the French 75: ‘C’est si bon’ by Eartha Kitt


  • 1 measure Gin (Gordons is fine, Pink Gin if you’re feeling fancy)
  • ½ measure Lemon juice
  • A slither of Lemon rind
  • Champagne


  1. Pour the gin and lemon juice into a chilled Champagne flute or coupe and swirl to mix.
  2. Top up with champagne, add the lemon rind, serve.
  3. Don’t drink too many.


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