French 75

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The French 75 is a Cocktail which consists of either Gin, Fresh Lemon Juice, Sugar, and Champagne.


Why is it called a French 75?

The French 75 is named after a WW1 artillery gun used by the French; the gun was a 75 millimetre.

Historical References

This is a great classic cocktail full of history. This drink is believed to be created at Harry's New York Bar in Paris in 1915. However, there is no conclusive evidence that the drink was created there or at that specific date. The drink appears in print as early as:

The practical hotel steward - Page 39 by John Tellman in 1913

"75 Cocktail"

This drink is commonly called a "french 75" which is believed to be composed of gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne. Other sources claim this drink is made with brandy. Even today there is still some confusion over the base ingredient in this drink.

The 75 has come to be known as a variation on the french 75 in which you substitute Gin for Brandy, but as seen in this piece of early literature the 75 and the french 75 are one in the same:

Cyclopedia of law and procedure: Volume 23 - Page 61 by William Mack, Howard Pervear Nash in 1906

"United States — USV Ash, 75 Fed. 651. 75 cocktail. — Courts take judicial notice that 75 cocktail, a compound of which consist of French brandy, California brandy, or any other kind. Xeiv Fort.— Blatz"

The name of this drink certainly derives from the french 75 mm howitzer, which was invented in 1897. There is no specific location associated with this drink, other than France. World War one had many conflicts and it is difficult to determine where exactly this drink was created.

This drink dates between 1897 - 1905 and contained at least as of then:

Shake these ingredients:


Fresh Lemon Juice

Simple Syrup

Strain into a champagne flute

Top with champagne

"Here's How", Judge Jnr, 1927

This drink is really what won the War for the Allies:

  • 2 jiggers Gordon water;
  • 1 part lemon juice;
  • a spoonful of powdered sugar;
  • cracked ice.
  • Fill up the rest of a tall glass with champagne!
  • (If you use club soda instead of champagne, you have a Tom Collins.)

"My New Cocktail Book," by G. F. Steele, March 1930

  • 2/3 Dry Gin
  • 1/3 Lemon Juice
  • Gum syrup to taste
  • Fill up rest of a tall glass with Champagne!

"The Savoy Cocktail Book," by Harry Craddock, 1930

The French "75" Cocktail.

  • 2/3 Gin.
  • 1/3 Lemon Juice.
  • 1 Spoonful Powdered Sugar.

Pour into tall glass containing cracked Ice and fill up with Champagne.

"Official Mixer's Manual," by Patrick Gavin Duffy, 1934

The French "75" Cocktail.

  • 2/3 Gin.
  • 1/3 Lemon Juice.
  • 1 Teaspoonful Powdered Sugar.

Pour into tall glass containing cracked Ice and fill up with Champagne.

David Wondrich Says

"The French 75 is rather an open question -- with Cognac and no lemon juice or sugar, it's a French drink, although I don't think they called it that (officers used to drink it before going over the top in WWI). With gin, lemon juice and sugar (basically, a Tom Collins with champagne instead of soda water), it seems unlikely that it was originally French. Off the top of my head, I think it first shows up in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, which is English. But the French cannon after which it was named wasn't used by the English in WWI and was used by the Americans, so I'd bet there's a Yank in the works somewhere."

Other References of Interest

"Banquet Book," by Cuyler Reynolds, 1902

"Punch. Most punches use a combination of strong liquors and wines, such as gin and champagne. Lemon is indispensable, and they are usually well sweetened."

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