French 75 – a classic prohibition cocktail

The French 75 is a very enigmatic cocktail. It’s been around for ages, and yet it’s not that well known. Certainly not as well known as it deserves to be. It is a classic and like many classics it is pretty straightforward really.

I’d read the recipe before, years ago, but it never seemed that appealing. What just gin, fizz plus some everyday items : sugar and lemon juice which surely cancel each other out?

But this is a great cocktail. Better than a sum of it’s parts for sure. It is a consistent hit at cocktail parties we run.  It may partly be that it also taps into a vein of popularity at the moment too. Certainly gin and Prosecco are the big news at the moment and this simple cocktail contains both of them. And no other strongly flavoured ingredient to muck it up.


This is an old cocktail, one from the prohibition era. Even it’s name – French 75 is named after the 75mm French field gun from the first world war. Remember that prohibition started in 1920 in America and WWI ended in 1918. So it puts the whole thing in context.

Making a French 75 

This is slightly difficult to give you measures as it depends on the size of your flute glass. If it’s a small one, I suggest the following;

35 ml gin (1 1/2 measures)

25 ml sugar syrup – it’s easy to make your own. See here.

25 ml lemon juice – halve this if you’re using concentrated juice from a bottle

125 ml of Prosecco (or Champagne if you prefer.) The original was champagne of course! 

Clearly if you have larger glasses to fill, as I favour at home (!), then simply scale up your ingredients – keeping the proportions the same.

If you haven’t tried this, give it a go. Like me, you may be pleasantly surprised. And if you’re looking for other ideas of some great champagne-style cocktails, try these ideas.


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