Cocktail of the Week – French 75

I’d like to start this week’s blog with a note of thanks to my brother in law’s girlfriend, who was kind enough to give me a copy of “The Bartender’s Standard Manual”, which contains over 700 cocktail recipes.

And one of them is this week’s CotW – the French 75.

Previously, I’ve mentioned cocktails that have been named after motoring organisations and opera singers. But the French 75 makes them look tame.

It’s named after an artillery piece – in other words, a cannon.

The cannon is question is the Canon de 75 modèle 1897 – the French 75mm field gun of 1897.

It was the first modern artillery piece – breechloading, with full recuperation. (Meaning you loaded it by putting the shell in the back and the recoil didn’t cause it to roll away.)

Over 17,000 were made and during the First World War it became a source of considerable national pride in France. 

And in the celebrations at the end of the war, that national pride even took the form of a cocktail, created at Harry’s New York Bar, which, despite the name, was in Paris. (Harry himself was Dundonian.)

Apparently it was called the French 75 because it had the kick of a 75mm cannon. This is probably due to all the champagne in it.

French 75

1 msr gin

1/2 msr lemon juice

1 teaspoon caster sugar


Fill a tall glass with ice, add the gin, lemon juice and caster sugar. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, top up with champagne and garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.

I didn’t have any champagne to hand, so I used cava instead. (Which probably makes it a Spanish 75…) On the plus side, I did remember the garnishes!

This is a *strong* cocktail – you’re drinking a third of a bottle of champagne, with some gin to give it extra kick. The champagne/cava does tend to dominate the taste, but the lemon makes it very dry.


About pointlessephemera

Blogging about the geekier end of popular culture...
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One Response to Cocktail of the Week – French 75

  1. Pingback: Cocktail of the Week – Paris Special! | Pointless Ephemera

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