Sparkling and festive, a cherry French 75 is the perfect cocktail to celebrate a special occasion, whether it’s toasting the New Year or an intimate Valentine’s Day dinner. 

Two champagne flutes with a light red drink garnished with cherries and lemon.

Refreshing, sparkling, tart … it’s hard to describe this champagne gin cocktail. Gin brings juniper and a certain spiciness, lemon juice adds bright tartness, maraschino cherries a unique sweet almond flavor, and the bubbly dry wine adds … well, bubbles. Shaken and served icy cold, this gin cocktail is just absolutely a party in a chilled glass. 

Garnished with a lemon twist and pretty red cherry, with a bright tutti-frutti color, isn’t it a pretty cocktail? Or maybe I shouldn’t say “pretty cocktail” and scare off you guys who only drink manly drinks. Let’s just go with “full-bodied punch,” okay?

Serve this cocktail with nibblers such as smoky roasted almonds, seasoned oyster crackers, creamy kale bruschetta, or sausage pinwheels with apple, sage, and Gruyère.

This sparkly gin cocktail would be perfect with a cheese board or charcuterie, or baked Brie

Overhead view of a champagne glass full of a cherry flavored french 75.

About this cherry French 75:

A French 75 is a cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and sparkling wine. To make a cherry French 75, the simple syrup is replaced by the syrup found in a jar of maraschino cherries, turning the cocktail a beautiful shade of pink and giving it a cherry/almond flavor. You’ll find that a cherry French 75 not an overly sweet drink.

Use London dry gin, such as Beefeater or Tanqueray. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must. Choose your favorite brand of prosecco, champagne, asti spumanti, or whatever you like best.

The recipe is easy. You’ll need ice and a cocktail shaker, and champagne flutes, preferably chilled. Simply add ice, gin, lemon juice and a dash of maraschino cherry syrup to the shaker. 

Cherry juice being poured into a cocktail shaker.

Shake vigorously for 15 seconds – this part is fun!

Cocktail shaker full of light red liquid.

Pour into a glass and top with champagne.

Champagne being poured into a champagne glass already partially full of light red liquid.

Add a festive cherry garnish and lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Cherry french 75 garnished with cherry and lemon peel.

What’s in a French 75?

  • Ice
  • London dry gin
  • Lemon juice
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Prosecco

Festive scene with two champagne glasses, lemons, cherries, and gold garland.

Why is it called a French 75?

So interesting! This drink dates back to World War I and was created in Paris, reportedly named for artillery, the powerful French 75mm field gun. Why the name? The combination of the original ingredients “was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled” with the French 75. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) 

So have a “blast” with this cocktail but please drink responsibly, as always, and don’t get “bombed”. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Close up overhead view of a cherry cocktail.

How to make this cocktail your own:

  • If you prefer, substitute Luxardo cherries for the maraschino cherries. Click here for an interesting article about the history of maraschino cherries and the original dark burgundy Luxardo cherries.
  • Make a “French 76” using vodka instead of gin.
  • Like a sweeter cocktail? Increase the amount of maraschino cherry syrup. 
  • To make a stronger drink, increase the amount of gin.
  • To make a less potent drink, increase the amount of prosecco to 6 oz. 

A champagne toast with light red liquid in champagne glasses.

Make-Ahead Tips

This sparkling cocktail is best served immediately. Make sure you have lots of ice and chill the cherries and prosecco. Make your lemon twist garnishes, squeeze the lemons and chill the juice. Not sure how to make a lemon twist? Watch this short video for an easy lesson.

Cheery Cocktails

Tired of beer and wine? Try a festive cocktail for a change. Here’s some recipes to try:

 

Two champagne glasses full of cherry french 75 cocktail.

Overhead view of a light red cocktail garnished with lemon and a maraschino cherry.

Cherry French 75

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Sparkling and festive, a cherry French 75 is the perfect cocktail to celebrate a special occasion, whether it's toasting the New Year or an intimate Valentine's Day dinner. 

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 1 ½ ounces London dry gin, such as Tanqueray or Beefeaters
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce maraschino cherry syrup/juice
  • 3 ounces prosecco, chilled
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish
  • Lemon rind twist, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add gin, lemon juice, and cherry syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
  2. Strain into a fluted cocktail glass and top with prosecco. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and lemon rind twist.

Notes

  • If you prefer a sweeter drink and deeper maraschino cherry taste, increase the cherry syrup to 1 ounce.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 0g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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