Unlike French fries, French dressing, and French toast, a French 75 cocktail was actually invented on Gallic soil. The iconic cocktail was birthed (ironically) at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, a famous expat haunt favored by the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart, and Sinclair Lewis.
Harry’s is allegedly responsible for a number of famous Prohibition-era cocktails, such as the Sidecar and the Bloody Mary, but the French 75 (or Soixante-quinze) has a special place in its repertoire. Comprised of 15 ml simple syrup, 15 ml lemon juice, 30 ml gin, and a champagne top-off with a lemon twist, the drink is light and refreshing, but strong as an ox. It’s name comes from its strength, with folks claiming it gave drinkers such a kick that it resembled a French 75mm artillery gun.
So whether you like it sweet or strong, the French 75 is the perfect beverage to please all, and a great way to toast the rich history of American expats in France, and their marvelous creations while there.