Summer’s Best Friend:
The Classic French 75

Light, easy-drinking, and easy to make, you’ll want to add this to your regular rotation.


Jenny Pace Photo

As soon as it’s warm enough to start dreaming about cool cocktails on hot days Cocktail Caravan is in full-send on summer mode. For me, light, easy-drinking cocktails can be drank early in the afternoon and leave me feeling refreshed are my favorite. The Aperol Spritz is high on my summer list, but definitely not my first love. Before spritzing became trendy I spent many a summer afternoons on the patio at Jax Boulder sipping French 75’s crafted by one of my all-time favorite bartenders, Devlin. The effervescence of the champagne combined with the bright flavor of lemon and herbal undertones of the gin make it my number one (sorry, Spritz, I still love you).

The French 75 made its first appearance way back during Prohibition in a bootlegger-friendly publication called Here’s How! published by New York Humor Magazine. Named after a fast-firing, accurate French field gun used in World War I—an icon of victory—the name suggested a powerful drink. A few years later it was picked up by the legendary Savoy Cocktail Book and the rest, as they say, is history.

Making this classic cocktail is so easy I have no doubt it will become one of your summer staples, too. Here is what you’ll need to make one French 75 cocktail:

  • .75oz Fresh lemon
  • .75oz Simple syrup (instructions below)
  • 1.5oz Gin
  • Champagne

Traditionally a French 75 is made with a London Dry Gin, but I won’t tell anyone if you veer off that path. I like making it with CapRock Gin, locally made in Colorado and Biodynamic. Their gin is what you’d call a ‘modern gin’ as it focuses less on the traditional juniper-heavy flavors with the addition of a twelve-botanical blend of fresh and dried fruits, flowers, and spices.


To prepare your French 75, follow these steps:

  1. Mix lemon (use fresh, don’t skimp), simple, and gin in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake until chilled
  3. Strain into a flute
  4. Top with Champagne
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist or lemon peel
  6. Sip, enjoy, and post a picture tagging us with your creation @cocktailcaravanco


*To make simple syrup, combine one cup hot water (just off-boil works best) with one cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate once cooled for future use.


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