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If you’ve ever wondered about the French 75 Cocktail history, it was first poured in 1915 at a bar in Paris, a mixture of Champagne, gin, lemon juice and sugar. It was said to have the kick of a French 75mm field gun, thus the name.

French 75 cocktails with lemons and Champagne in the background

A few years ago, Keith and I went to a craft cocktail bar in Seattle. We asked our server what we should order, with the caveat that it not be very sweet. “I don’t know,” she said, “I like my cocktails to taste like sugar.”

I like my cocktails to taste like alcohol.

The good news is that the French 75 cocktail can go either way. If you’re a sweet-cocktail person, add more Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup; if not, add less.

Just as in my homemade tonic water recipe, I prefer the zing of fresh citrus that’s lost once you involve heat. So, instead of making a traditional simple syrup on the stove top, I whisked superfine sugar into fresh Meyer lemon juice and let it dissolve. With a vigorous whisk, sugar dissolves quickly in the acidic juice leaving you with a zesty-fresh and sweet syrup.

(If you love bubbly cocktails, you should also check out this Peach Bellini recipe and Campari Spritz. And more of my favorites are this Rhubarb Cocktail and my Blackberry Margaritas.)


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Meyer Lemon French 75

Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: French
Calories: 225
Servings: 1 cocktail
First poured in a Paris bar in 1915, the French 75 is a delicious mix of Champagne, gin, lemon juice and sugar.


For the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup

  • Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

For 1 French 75 Cocktail

  • 1 ounce Gin
  • 1/2 ounce Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup
  • 2 ounces Champagne


To make the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup:

  • In a small bowl, whisk Meyer lemon juice and sugar until sugar has dissolved. (Makes enough syrup for 4 cocktails)

To make one French 75 cocktail:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 ounce Gin and 1/2 ounce Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup. Shake well and strain into a Champagne glass and top with Champagne. Stir gently and serve.


Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Vincent says:

    I just made one of these, using your exact measures and proportions, only substituting drinkable, affordable, small-bottle prosecco for the champagne, and it’s a keeper. A smashing sweetish cocktail. The lemon chases the sugar down like a dachshund after a hare.

    I have syrup left. Excuse me while I go make another.

    1. Marissa says:

      Love it! Thanks, Vincent!

  2. J. J. says:

    Can you recommend a champagne for this cocktail please?

    1. Marissa says:

      Hi J.J.! I typically go for a sparkling wine (Champagne, Cava, prosecco, etc.) that is in a middle price range, i.e., good enough that I would drink it straight, but nothing fancy.

  3. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    I don’t like my cocktails sweet either and know I would enjoy this one.

  4. Jen GoBlue! says:

    Hi Marissa
    Thanks so much for this recipe. I’m attending a craft cocktail party next weekend where everyone needs to make a cocktail. After trying it tonight, this is the winner!
    I also need to bring an appetizer to complement it. Any suggestions?

    1. Marissa says:

      I love that, Jen! Sounds like a great party to me…

      For the appetizer, I’d go with something salty / creamy / rich. The Crostini with Brie, Cherry Preserves and Arugula from this post would be nice or even just buttery popcorn with a generous sprinkle of truffle salt.


  5. Savory Spicerack says:

    LOL I love it and totally agree, “I like my cocktails to taste like alcohol” This looks so tasty and I am in love with Meyer lemon recipes right now. I went to my favorite specialty shop that sells lovely olive oils, balsamic vinegars, etc. and they just put out a meyer lemon infused olive oil! I grabbed two! Pinning this beautiful drink for later!