How to make the perfect French 75

A spirited spin on the most elusive drink in history

Negronis are for the pseudo-intellectuals and margaritas are consumed by those who like to tan to the point of going Hermès orange – but the French 75? That’s the one favoured by the late-night crowd; the Dior-wearers with a Gitanes between the digits and some Voltaire on the nightstand ready to be annotated and dog-eared.

The origin story of the French 75, a libation that layers Champagne with ingredients such as lemon juice and sugar syrup, is as questionable as a Trump tax return. Some make the case that it was jumpstarted in Buck’s, a gentlemen’s club in London; others say it debuted at Harry’s New York Bar, in Paris. What we can say with a degree of certainty is that it was conceived in France. The first part of the moniker is self-explanatory enough, meanwhile 75 is a direct nod to the Canon de 75 Modèle 1897 – a weapon that was key to nixing the German march on the French capital during the First World War, and which, like the drink named in its honour, stored a mighty hit.

BERRY BROS. & RUDD The Wine Merchant’s Champagne Glass, sold out; NO.3 barware, not for sale; NO.3 London Dry Gin, £39,

As is the case with cocktails across the board, drinkers and makers will put their own spin on things: some prefer their old fashioned with butter-washed bourbon, and there are those who choose martinis with a lychee note. When it comes to the French 75, the lines are drawn between those who use cognac as a base and those who lean towards gin. The former adds a weighty smack, yet, with better weather approaching, we’ll navigate towards a heavy slug of gin, which offers a more botanical, cleaner quality that’ll sync the sipper into the easygoing rhythms of summer.


  • 30ml No.3 London Dry Gin
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • 75ml Champagne
  • 1 lemon
  • Ice


  • Jigger (spirit measure)
  • Strainer
  • Champagne flute
  • Cocktail shaker


  1. Pour gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker
  2. Shake over ice, strain into a Champagne flute and top with Champagne
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist

This feature was taken from our Spring 2024 issue. Read more about it here.

Want more cocktail recipes? Here’s how to make the perfect martini...

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