A lovely drink for brunch, pre-dinner, or as a nightcap, the French 75 is one of the most versatile cocktails we know. Our recipe came to us via ex–Gramercy Tavern managing partner (and author) Nick Mautone. It’s a subtle twist on a classic, especially if you use brown instead of white sugar. Named after a piece of World War I–era artillery, the French 75 was originally made with gin (see the video on this page with Charlotte Voisey making that version). Over time it became more popular with brandy (specifically Cognac) as the fortifying spirit. Pair it with one of our Valentine’s Day recipes for a cozy night in.
For more, check out our Whiskey Sour, Sazerac, and Vieux Carré.
- 1 cube brown or white sugar, or 1/2 teaspoon light brown or granulated sugar
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1 ounce Cognac or other brandy (or gin)
- 1 lemon wedge
- 3 to 4 ounces Champagne or other sparkling wine, chilled
- 1 orange twist, for garnishing
1Drop the sugar cube or measured sugar into a chilled champagne flute. Add the orange bitters and brandy (or gin).
2Squeeze the lemon wedge into the glass and discard the wedge. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
3Slowly add the chilled Champagne, garnish with the orange twist, and serve.
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