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The French 75 – a mix of gin, lemon, sugar and champagne – is a classic, but few know it was once part of a whole family of drinks. The ‘125’ variation uses brandy for a warming edge, while icing sugar adds a hint of sweetness.
30ml cognac (or other brandy)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp icing sugar
ice, for chilling
chilled champagne or sparkling wine, to top
strip of lemon zest, to garnish
1. Put the cognac (or brandy), lemon juice and icing sugar in a cocktail shaker and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add plenty of ice and shake well until chilled. Strain into a champagne flute or coupe, and top with the champagne. Garnish with the strip of lemon zest.
Mix it up: For a festive twist, put 250ml cognac in a bowl with 4 cloves, 1 split vanilla pod and 2 cinnamon sticks. Leave overnight, then discard the spices and use the cognac in the cocktail. The cognac will keep in a clean sterilised bottle for up to 2 months.
This recipe was first published in November 2020.