Discover the refreshing and bubbly goodness of the French 76 cocktail, a perfect blend of vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne.
Are you looking for a refreshing and sophisticated cocktail to add some sparkle to your evenings?
Look no further than the French 76! This delightful drink combines the crispness of champagne with the zesty flavors of lemon and gin, creating a perfect balance of effervescence and tang.
Whether you’re hosting a soirée or simply want to treat yourself to a special beverage, the French 76 is sure to impress. Join us as we dive into the history, ingredients, and techniques behind this classic cocktail that has been delighting palates for decades.
What is a French 76?
A French 76 is a variation of the classic cocktail, the French 75. It’s a refreshing and bubbly drink that combines vodka, lemon juice, and Champagne.
The exact origins of the French 76 are not as widely documented as those of the French 75, but it’s generally considered to be a modern adaptation that emerged in the cocktail revival of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
French 76 vs French 75: What is the difference?
Both are classic french drinks, and the key distinction between the French 75 and French 76 lies in the choice of spirits. While the French 75 traditionally features gin as its primary spirit, the French 76 substitutes vodka.
Vodka — Preferably a good quality one like Absolute Vodka.
Simple syrup — A very easy and inexpensive ingredient to make at home. You can also buy it at the store or try this classic simple syrup or mint simple syrup.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Champagne — Since the vodka is only for subtle flavoring and the champagne and lemon juice are the star ingredients, choose a glass of champagne that you would enjoy drinking on its own. We recommend a Brut Champagne. You can also substitute the champagne for a Cava or Prosecco, which are more affordable but equally delicious.
How to Make a French 76
1 — In a cocktail shaker with ice, add the vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake well until chilled.
2 — Strain the mix into a Champagne flute.
3 — Top the glass with Champagne.
4 — Optional: Garnish with a lemon peel.
When to Serve Champagne Cocktails
Since it is a fancy-feeling cocktail, the French 76 is the perfect drink for any celebration, a Paris theme party, or even brunch.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Since you will not be serving ice in this cocktail, chill a champagne flute glass in the freezer beforehand for 10-15 minutes.
- As a bubbly cocktail, it’s best served right after being made.
- For another unique French 75 and French 76 variation, opt for rosé sparkling wine instead of champagne.
- If you are not a fan of drinks served without ice, use a Tom Collins glass over a few rocks. At one point, this was actually how the French 75 and French 76 were served. A Collins glass is taller than a highball glass and allows for more space for ice.
- To make the lemon twist garnish: Use a peeler to take a thin and long strip of the lemon peel. Roll the peel to enhance the curl. Place the garnish inside the glass, with part of it sitting on the brim of the glass.
More Easy Refreshing Cocktails
For more refreshing drinks, check out a few of our favorite cocktails from the archives —
- Sparkling Mint Meyer Lemonade
- Vodka Pear Lavender Lemonade
- Pink Lemonade Cocktail
- Refreshing Aperol Tonic
- Pink Gin Spritz
- 3 Ingredient Homemade Limeade
French 76 Recipe
- Champagne flute glass
- 1 oz vodka If you want to have it stronger drink, go for 2 ounces.
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- Champagne to top off the glass
- 1 lemon peel for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker with ice, add the vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake well until chilled.
- Strain the mix into a Champagne flute.
- Top the glass with Champagne.
- Optional: Garnish with a lemon peel.
Don’t forget to share your French 76 with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! Looking for more quick and delicious recipes? You can find them all right here with a few desserts to go along with them.