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.
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?
This sparkly gin cocktail would also be perfect with a cheese board or charcuterie, or baked Brie.
About this Cocktail
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.
Shake vigorously for 15 seconds – this part is fun!
Pour into a glass and top with champagne.
Add a festive cherry garnish and lemon twist, and serve immediately.
What’s in a French 75?
- Ice: The cocktail is shaken with ice and served chilled.
- London Dry Gin: Some brands to look for are Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Beefeater, etc.
- Lemon Juice: Make sure you have plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice on hand. Use the peels to make the festive lemon twists for a garnish. Hint: remove the strips of peel before you juice the lemons.
- Maraschino Cherries: Look for a good brand of cherries. You’ll use the juice/syrup from the jar and the cherries.
- Prosecco: Any dry sparkling wine is fine, including brut champagne.
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!)
Make It 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. Omit the cherry juice and use simple syrup instead. Garnish with one maraschino cherry.
- 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.
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.
Tired of beer and wine? Try a festive cocktail for a change. Here’s some recipes to try:
- Classic Gin and Tonic Recipe with tips to make the best!
- Orange Gin and Tonic with Cinnamon
- Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
- Pomegranate Mojito
- Apple Cider Mule
- Sparkling Pink Lemonade (with cocktail option!)
- Frosé Recipe — the best frozen Rosé
- Hot White Russian Recipe
- Stout Hot Chocolate
- 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
- Add gin, lemon juice, and cherry syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Strain into a fluted cocktail glass and top with prosecco. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and lemon rind twist.
- If you prefer a sweeter drink and deeper maraschino cherry taste, increase the cherry syrup to 1 ounce.
- Use less gin and more champagne for a drink that has less alcohol.
- Try a “French 76” using vodka instead of gin. Omit the cherry juice and use simple syrup instead. Garnish with one maraschino cherry.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.