French 75 is a cocktail made from gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar.
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.
The recipe of the French 75 is very similar to the one of the popular drink Tom Collins, with the Champagne replacing carbonated water. According to the recipe in Harry MacElhone’s book “Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, a French 75 is supposed to be served in a Highball glass. The Highball glass, which the Tom Collins Cocktail is also served in, would support the theory of French 75 being a variation of the Tom Collins Cocktail.
A different and colorful story of the invention of the French 75 was related by Jean Shepherd on November 17, 1969, wherein he credits Gervais Raoul Lufbery as the inventor. The mixture, as related by Shepherd, is Champagne and Cognac on ice with perhaps a twist of lemon.
The drink’s recipe was first recorded in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. The recipe in the Savoy Cocktail Book uses gin. A later cocktail book, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury, claims that the French 75 is a Cognac-based drink.
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