Don’t let the pastel fizziness and overwhelming effervescence of a French 75 fool you; the cocktail holds enough alcohol to give an army a heady buzz. That’s the sneakiness inherent to the booze-and-bubbles drink combo—and the reason we make ’em. The French 75, for its part, calls for London dry gin and brut champagne.
You’ll come across plenty of French 75s served in champagne glasses sans ice. And sure, the champagne, even if it’s cheap, feels fancier when it’s sipped from a flut. But we prefer to build a French 75 like a Tom Collins, meaning in a Collins glass over ice with brut as a topper. The ice really adds to the refreshment factor, and, bonus, you can use less expensive champagne. Here’s our method.
A Little Background
The French 75 is an old one. Cataloging its many appearances since the 1800s—or at least, cocktails that bore some similarity to it—you’ll find versions with applejack, cognac, grenadine, absinthe, the works. But gin is by and large the through line. And speaking of buzzing an army. The name “French 75,” before it signified a cocktail that remains popular after one-hundred-plus years, referred to a type of 75mm cannon used by the French in WWI. La bonne soixante-quinze—man, could that gun shoot well. Ammo that could pack a wallop, and a drink that did the same? No wonder the cocktail co-opted the name somewhere along the line.
If You Like This, Try These
If you replace the champagne in a French 75 with club soda, you’ve got yourself a Tom Collins. If you shake the gin, lemon, and sugar then strain them into a coupe, no bubbly, then you’ve got yourself a classic Gin Fizz. As for another killer booze-and-bubbly cocktail, try the Air Mail, which pairs gold rum with brut champagne.
What You Need
Here’s what you need to do a French 75 justice, beyond what you might be able to dig out of the fridge or cupboard.
Photography and Prop styling by Heidi’s Bridge
Food styling by Sean Dooley
Source : Esquire