French 75

I was introduced to this classic cocktail by the late legendary editor of Forbes: Jim Michaels. Named after a WW I artillery piece, it is indeed deadly. I have been guzzling them this past week out of some Subconscious alcoholic homage to the Tour de France. Recipe: Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, prosecco over ice with a twist. I have a suspicion this could easily become the summer of retro cocktails. Is that wrong?

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

6 thoughts on “French 75”

  1. My one big “problem” with the otherwise highly-gulpable French 75 is the Prosecco. Or rather that you have to pop open a full bottle of the bubbly to make a few cocktails and then the rest goes flat. Or am i doing it wrong?

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    1. Excellent point Aaron and one I haven’t quite solved. Prosecco is in some recipes for the drink, I suspect because it’s generally cheap and who wants to waste a fine bottle of the French stuff on a mixed drink? The French 75 is the subject of some controversy, with some cocktail experts maintaining it is cognac, not gin that is at the heart of the drink, and others advocating champagne over cheap Asti Spumanti b.s.

      I do think the reason the drink is treated with respect is because unlike most cocktails which use a neutral mixer like soda, ginger ale or tonic, the French 75 gets its fizziness from champagne/prosecco which makes it both sneaky and deadly.

      As you know, one can’t simply re-cork a bottle of champagne. I wedge a cheap wine stopper thing in the neck and try to kill the bottle off within 24 hours. Usually the remainder holds onto its bubbles a day later, but going flat is a definite inducement to drink multiples or find others to share.

      Now off I go to Amazon in search of a champagne re-sealer device.

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  2. The French 75 holds a special place in the Kobran Family Folklore… it has been the ruin of many a guest to the Vineyard over the years…none more so than my sister Kathy who was sunk by 2 and asleep in bed before 6:30 one year…

    Our recipe was

    Sugar Cube with a drop of Bitters
    Shot of Tanqueray
    Sparkling Wine

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  3. The first time I had one was at the old Ritz Carlton in Boston (maybe while I was still at brooks) and the story I was told is that the Yankee Division after winning a major battle due to artillery support from the French 75MM guns celebrated with the only liquor they could get their hands on Cognac and Champagne which the ended up mixing.

    Later at reunions of former officers from the Yankee Division at the Ritz Carlton they would always order a French 75 to remember that day and drink a toast to friends lost.

    The menu in the bar had a whole page telling the story

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