The French 76 is a variation on the classic French 75 (Soixante Quinze) that swaps in vodka for the gin. Here's how to make it great.
Why we love this recipe
If you're not a fan of gin or just want a lower-key version of the French 75 that lets the other flavors shine through a bit more, the French 76 is a great choice. This spin on the classic is:
- Nicely balanced
- Clean-tasting and sophisticated
- Easy to like
- Arguably more winter-friendly than its gin-based counterpart
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- You'll start with a top-shelf vodka. I'm using Grey Goose, which has a lovely, toasty vibe and creamy finish and is from France. Belvedere is another great choice. I'm not really on the Tito's bandwagon, but if you are, that would be a fine option, too.
- There's no substitute for freshly squeezed lemon juice, which adds brightness and balance to this cocktail. You'll also garnish the drink with a lemon twist cut from the peel.
- A little bit of 1:1 simple syrup adds just a touch of sweetness. It's super-easy to make, and you can learn how by clicking that link to head over to the recipe.
- You'll top things off with Champagne or another good sparkling wine. I typically use our favorite Chandon Brut, which is from California but shares a lot of the characteristics of a good midprice Champagne. You can use any sparkling wine that you enjoy drinking.
How to make it
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make a French 76. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour in the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
- Shake well until very cold.
- Pour into a champagne flute.
- Top with champagne, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve. That's it!
Expert tips and FAQs
Sure thing. To batch the French 76, stir together in a pitcher up to three hours before serving time: one cup vodka, ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, ¾ cup simple syrup, and ½ cup water. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, pour in one whole bottle of Champagne. Pour into glasses, garnish each with a lemon twist, and serve. Makes eight drinks.
More favorite French 75 variations
- 1 ounce (30 ml) vodka
- ¾ ounce (22 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ ounce (22 ml) 1:1 simple syrup
- 3 ounces (90 ml) Champagne
- 1 lemon twist, to garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.
- Pour in vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
- Shake well, until very cold.
- Strain gin mixture into a Champagne flute.
- Top with the Champagne.
- Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.
- To batch this cocktail, stir together in a pitcher up to three hours before serving time: one cup vodka, ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, ¾ cup simple syrup, and ½ cup water. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, pour in one whole bottle of Champagne. Pour into glasses, garnish each with a lemon twist, and serve. Makes eight drinks.
Serving Size:1 cocktail
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200