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How to Make a French 75 (Actually an Aussie 75) Cocktail

Sharp, aromatic, herbal and with a fun sherbet fizz, the French 75 is a truly delicious cocktail. Even better, here’s how you can make this classic into an Aussie 75!

Do you know why this drink’s called the French 75?

It comes from the Canon de 75 modèle 1897—a favourite field gun the French military used in World War I that fired 75mm shells and was affectionally known as the Sonxante-Quinze (or 75).

Looking more like an old cannon mounted on two cartwheels than a relatively modern piece of artillery, the highly effective 75 was a symbol of hope in the war.

And that translates well to its namesake—this potent yet elegant and refreshing classic gin cocktail.

How To Make An Aussie French 75

There have been many iterations of the French 75 over the years—some even using Bourbon and brandy instead of gin, or adding grenadine or apple brandy to the mix. And the French 76, an ‘80s construct, uses vodka instead of gin.

But we’ll stick to the gin version here.

French 75 Cocktail

- 30ml Aussie craft gin - we’re using Poor Toms’ Sydney Dry Gin

- 20ml lemon juice

- 10ml simple syrup*

- Australian sparkling wine to top up

- Lemon twist to garnish

1. Pour the gin, juice and syrup into a shaker over ice and gently shake until the sides of the shaker are frosted.

2. To remove any lemon bits, double strain into a glass and top up with sparkling wine and stir gently to combine.

3. Garnish with the lemon twist and serve.

*Simple syrup is easy to make at home and lasts for ages in your fridge. Dissolve caster sugar into hot water (equal parts), allow to cool and decant into a sterilised glass bottle with a close-fitting lid.

If you’re using fine sugar, remember to dissolve it on the lemon juice first. Sugar doesn’t dissolve very well in alcohol.

Types of Glass for a French 75

The preferred glassware for a French 75 has changed over the years as much as its recipe. There are rumours that this drink was served in a 75mm shell from the eponymous gun on the front line, but I think that might be urban myth.

To begin with coupe or martini glasses were the way to go. Then tall collins glasses full of ice became the fashion.

Champagne flutes have also had their day in the sun and I suppose it depends if you want your drink on the rocks or up, or if you want a longer drink with more sparkling wine.

We love the look of a coupe glass, and I think this lets you taste the gin better too.

Interestingly, if you swap out the sparkling wine for soda water, you have a Tom Collins—but I think I’ll take wine over water most days!


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