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10 Classic French Cocktails

How many French cocktails can you name? I have to admit that I struggled after finding recipes for the French 75 and the Sidecar. 

But of course, there are so many unique cocktails out there, and more than a few hail from France. 

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Homemade French 75 Cocktail with Lemons

One thing I’ve noticed is that these French cocktails are heavy on the booze and generous with their flavors. 

Don’t expect anything mild here. From gin to champagne, every one of these cocktails is tastier than the next. 

Do you have a favorite? Let me know, and be sure to try number six. It’s my go-to after a long week.

1. Classic French 75 Cocktail

A classic French 75 cocktail is made using gin, champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. As you can see, it’s pretty intense and not super sweet.

That’s why it’s named after a 75mm Howitzer field gun used during World War I. The weapon was prized for its accuracy, and this drink is known to knock your socks off pretty fast.

Since the flavors are very clean and the citrus is so key, be sure to use dry gin rather than something overly flavored that might take away from the authentic taste.

2. Sidecar

Here’s another drink with World War I roots. The story goes that this drink was invented for a motorcycle riding customer who happened to have a sidecar. 

Other people insist the name comes from the mix left behind in the cocktail shaker after serving.

Usually served as a shot, it’s seen as a sidecar to the main drink. 

No matter what you believe, this cocktail is tart, strong, and not for the faint at heart.

If you like daiquiris on vacation, this one might be too much for you.

3. Kir Royale Cocktail

The kir royale is an elevated version of the classic kir cocktail.

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This recipe calls for crème de cassis topped with champagne, where the latter uses simple white wine. 

Best served in a champagne glass; this is the perfect drink to sip on as you mingle with party guests. 

You can use either Chambord or crème de cassis. I favor the former as it’s a blend of raspberries, blackberries, and blackcurrants, and I prefer the mixed fruity flavors. 

4. French Martini

Like the above recipe, this twist on an ordinarily dry drink uses Chambord to add delicious black raspberry flavor. 

But that’s not all. The French recipe also uses pineapple juice, for an extra-tropical spin. 

Just add vodka, pineapple juice, and raspberry liquor to a shaker with ice and get those muscles moving. 

Not only is this delicious, but it’s also super pretty, That pink hue is just beginning to be shown off. 

Mint Grapefruit Mimosa

5. Mint Grapefruit Mimosas

Did you know that the first Mimosa was served in 1925 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris?

Named for a flower of the same color, it should have equal parts orange juice and champagne. 

This mint and grapefruit version is sour, bubbly, and so refreshing. 

First, you’ll make honey and mint simple syrup. This helps to cut down on the acidity from the grapefruit and bubbly. 

Strain the mix to remove the mint leaves and let it cool.

One option here is to blend a whole, peeled grapefruit. The other is to buy fruit juice from concentrate. 

6. Blueberry French 75

If you thought that the French 75 was too tart for your tastes, I promise you’ll love this version. 

Instead of just adding lemon juice and sugar (or simple syrup), you’ll include bright and beautiful blueberries. 

The easiest way to do this is with blueberry simple syrup. It will hold in the fridge for a couple of weeks, so don’t worry about waste. 

Make that the day before or a couple of hours in advance, then once it’s cold, add it to a shaker with lemon juice, ice, and gin.

Pour this into champagne flutes and top up with some bubbles. 

The exact amounts are up to you. I prefer more blueberry mix, but the more champagne you add, the more mellow the gin will taste. 

7. French Connection

As you can see from the picture, this cocktail is designed to be savored.

Typically made with one and a half ounces of cognac and one ounce of amaretto, it’s not light and bubbly.

Instead, this is sweet, nutty, and very intense. 

Cognac can be quite bright and fruity, though the alcohol is pungent.

When you pair that with almond amaretto, you’re left with something pretty sweet. 

If almond isn’t your thing, try using Cointreau instead. It’s sweet, too, but leaves this with a beautiful orange taste.

8. Suze and Tonic

Suze is a beloved French apéritif that’s bitter, vegetal, citrusy, and quite floral.

It’s made from the roots of a gentian plant and has a very bright yellow color. 

Due to its bitterness and robust flavor, it’s best paired with something neutral and bubbly. In this case, tonic. 

I’m not a huge fan of Suze as it kind of tastes like dandelions.

But if you’re a lover of floral and vegetal flavors, you’ll love this super simple two-ingredient French cocktail.

9. Black Raspberry Chambord Drink with Lime and Tonic

Kir is a boozy drink as it uses both Chambord and champagne (or white wine).

The raspberry liquor is made using cognac, so if you don’t like mixing alcohol, try this version instead. 

This lightened up Kir calls for tonic, making this more like a mixed drink. I used lime seltzer because I ran out of tonic, and it paired really well. 

You’ll also add lime juice for zesty freshness, though I’ll bet lemon would work too. 

10. Black Rose

The Black Rose can be dated all the way back to the 1920s and the Art Deco Era, and it’s been beloved in Paris ever since. 

The color may not be black, but the blackberries in the mix give this its name. And it’s not rosewater, but rather rosemary adding to the title. 

The first thing you need to do is make the blackberry syrup. It’s a blend of blackberries, sugar, water, lemon zest, and thyme.

As always, strain and let it cool before you make the cocktail. 

When it’s cold, you’ll add it to a shaker with gin and lime.

The rosemary comes at the end as a garnish, but if you like that flavor, try using it in the blackberry syrup, too. 

10 Classic French Cocktails

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French Cocktails

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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