Have you ever ordered a French 75 at a bar and wondered why it’s called a French 75? What does that have to do with a champagne and gin drink? Well, it’s indeed an interesting story.

The French 75 received its name after the French 75-millimeter light field gun used during WWI. Because cocktail names typically are after events or people, the French 75 is no different. During the 20th century, the gun itself was a major symbol of hope in the news for the battle against Germany.

The first name for the drink was, “Soixante-Quinze” meaning seventy-five. This name later changed to 75 Cocktail, and then to what we know today, the French 75. Over the years, the recipe has altered. When the drink was first created, it contained dry gin, applejack bonded, lemon juice, and grenadine. A little different than the classic cocktail drunk today. The only thing that has never changed about this drink is that all versions contained gin.

There are many ways to serve this cocktail. Over the decades, the glass the cocktail came in has changed. The French 75 was first sipped out of a coupe glass. However, during the late 1920s, the glass switched to a Collins. Now, and since the 1980s, this cocktail is served in a champagne flute.

The first written reference came in 1915 in The Washington Herald. From that point on, the drink was on just about every bar menu. Whether that is the classic version or a riff, it’s something that imbibers continuously order.

Next time you want to make this classic cocktail, try out this recipe.

The French 75

The French 75

French 75


  • 1 oz. Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Dashes of Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz. Champagne

Preparation: Combine all ingredients except champagne into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into an iced champagne flute. Top the cocktail off with champagne and give a gentle stir. Garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy!