The classic french 75 cocktail: history and recipes

The french 75 sounds like an elegant cocktail, and it sure tastes like one — but it has an unexpected history. Here's how it came to be, plus different recipes to try it at home.

The French 75 cocktail | history and recipes

It may be known as a bubbly and slightly sweet cocktail often served in celebration, but surprisingly enough, the french 75 was named after a quick-firing anti-aircraft artillery gun.

Drinking this potent combination of alcohol was likened to being shot in the chest by the French 75mm field gun during World War I. Regarded as the first modern artillery piece, the French 75 was a symbol of hope in the battle against Germany.

The cocktail's exact inception remains unclear, but many attribute the recipe to Harry MacElhone, who is said to have created it at the New York Bar in Paris. Known simply as the soixante-quinze (75), the serve first appeared in print in MacElhone's Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails in 1922.

While his original called for calvados, gin, grenadine and absinthe, different iterations of the french 75 quickly began popping up in other cocktail books, until it was settled as a mix of champagne, gin, sugar and lemon juice.

These days, there are plenty of modern takes on this fizzy favourite, but right now we're loving The Cloak Bar's Flight 75, made with a honey apple shrub. Read the recipe below.

The Cloak Bar's Flight 75

The Cloak Bar's Flight 75 uses an apple honey shrub for a sweeter twist on the classic french 75.

Makes 1

Preparation time 5 mins

The Cloak Bar on Wellington puts a honey apple twist on the french 75. Don't want to lift a finger? They offer a Flight 75 Cocktail Kit that comes complete with everything you need to make this tipple at home. Job done.


  • 1 oz Bombay Sapphire gin
  • ½ oz apple honey shrub
  • Prosecco to top

Apple Honey Shrub

  • 100g Rosewood Wildflower Honey
  • 100g Fine apple cider vinegar with the mother
  • 120ml water


Apple Honey Shrub Method

  1. Stir all ingredients together at room temperature and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Flight 75 Method

  1. Chill all ingredients prior to mixing.
  2. In a champagne flute or a wine glass, add the gin and apple honey shrub, then top with prosecco.
  3. Give the mixture a slight stir and enjoy.