Named after a French gun used in World War I—a not-so-subtle nod to the drink’s lethalness—this Champagne cocktail was made famous at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the early 1900s. Some historical records cite Cognac as the original base spirit, which would make sense on account of the drink’s Gallic origins. Somewhere in translation, however, gin became a common base, though many bars, including French 75 bar in New Orleans, still use Cognac as the base.
- 2 ounces Cognac or gin
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup (1:1, sugar:water)
- 3 ounces sparkling wine (preferably dry Champagne)
Garnish: long, curly peel of lemon
- Add first three ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into a coupe or a flute and top with sparkling wine.
- Garnish with a long curling peel of lemon.
Whether making a Cognac or gin French 75, a dry sparkling wine is preferred. Should you be using bubbly with a bit more residual sugar, adjust the simple syrup measurement down accordingly. Use a channel knife to create the perfect long, loopy peel of lemon.