So some of you may not know this, but I have a passion for old-fashioned drinks (especially Old Fashioned’s) — I often order cocktails when I am out to dinner, particularly at nicer restaurants. Something just feels right about having a classic cocktail when out to dinner. So in my efforts to plan my editorial calendar for the blog, I decided to do a Classic Cocktail Series on Tuesdays. I don’t know how long it will go for — perhaps until we’ve covered all my favorites! I hope you will enjoy this as much as I hope to.

Let’s start with a true classic: the French 75. The French 75 is a cocktail made from gin, Champagne, lemon juice and sugar. Mmmmmm. This is not to be confused with a French Martini (which I promise to cover in another post of this series).

The drink was created in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris — later Harry’s New York Bar — by barman Harry MacElhone. The combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun, also called a “75 Cocktail”, or “Soixante Quinze” in French. The French 75 was popularized in America at the Stork Club in New York.

Harry’s New York Bar is also known for inventing the Bloody Mary and was a frequent Paris hangout for Ernest Hemingway and other American expatriates.

The drink’s recipe was first recorded in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930.

Enjoy this lovely drink – perhaps order it next time you are at a swanky bar and impress your friends. Cheers!


French 75


  • 2 ounces gin — London dry gin or perhaps Hendrick’s
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 ounces Brut champagne


Shake well with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then strain into a coupe glass half-full of cracked ice and top off with champagne.