750ml bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine, well chilled
chilled soda water (club soda), to serve
lemon zest strips or sliced lemon, to serve
1⁄4 cup caster sugar
110ml lemon juice, strained
350ml gin

The origins of the French 75 (or soixante-quinze) are, like a night out on the classic combination of Champagne and gin with a twist of lemon, a little muddled. Most stories put its beginnings in the 1920s, as perhaps a livelier incarnation of a Tom Collins (gin, soda water and lemon juice). This recipe is somewhere in between the two, with both Champagne and soda water invited to the party. The result is a little softer and less boozy, able to be sipped all afternoon.


1.To make the French 75 syrup, combine the sugar and lemon juice in a large jug.
2.Stir for about 1 minute, until the sugar has dissolved.
3.Add the gin, then pour into a sterilised bottle; you should end up with about 500ml of syrup.
4.Seal and refrigerate until required.
5.The syrup will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
6.To serve, half-fill a Champagne flute with Champagne (or half-fill a wine glass with ice cubes, then half-fill with Champagne).
7.Top two-thirds of the remaining space in the glass with French 75 syrup, and the final third with soda water.
8.Garnish the glass with overhanging lemon-zest strips, or add some lemon slices to the glass, then serve immediately.

Recipe Suzy Ashford / Photography by Chris Middleton

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