Refreshing Holiday Cocktail: French 75 with St. Germain


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I’m not sure where French 75s have been all my life, but I’ve been missing out. I’ve never been much of a liquor girl, but I’m a big fan of sparkling cocktails. Not only is the French 75 delicious and refreshing, it’s practically made for New Year’s Eve. I ordered one off the drink menu at one of our favorite restaurants (Cherry Street Cellar for those of y’all who are local) and immediately fell in love. I’ve been making them at home now, too, and the only adjustment I’ve made is to substitute St. Germain for simple syrup. It’s less sugary and, in my humble opinion, just better. Keep reading for the printable French 75 with St Germain recipe card and for tips on how to make lemon peel curl garnishes!

In the meantime, though, here’s everything you’ll need to whip up a French 75 with St Germain:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 ounces gin (I like Hendricks)
  • 1/2 ounces St. Germain or other elderflower liquor
  • 3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • Dry sparkling wine, such as Prosecco, Champagne, Cava, chilled
  • 1 cup ice cubes

French 75 Recipe with St Germain

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One of my favorite things about the French 75 is that it’s super simple. Just add gin, St. Germain, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Top with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into champagne flute or coupe glass (my personal preference ever since I saw The Great Gatsby). Top with sparkling wine–should be about 2 ounces if you’re meticulously measuring. Garnish with a lemon peel curl (keep reading for tips on how to make one) and serve immediately! Easy peasy. 

Just FYI– the traditional French 75 recipe uses simple syrup instead of St. Germain or whichever elderflower liquor you prefer. Removing it will make it less sweet and more bitter. If this recipe is too tart for your liking (I mean, it’s pretty heavy on the lemon juice), add in either 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup or a sugar cube. Either method will sweeten it right up. 

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How to Make a Lemon Peel Curl Garnish

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There are two ways to make a lemon peel curl garnish. The first way (and probably the preferred bartender way) is to use a zester or paring knife to slice the peel from a lemon in a long thin spiral. Curl the lemon peel around your finger to create twist. The peel will naturally hold its shape– and you’re done!

The second way (and my go-to method since I’m terrified of slicing my fingers off) is to cut a thin slice of lemon. I normally make mine about 2-3 centimeters thick. Then, I make a cut through one side of the peel and the pulp, all the way up to the rind on the other side. Cut the pulp off the peel, creating one long thin strip of peel. Curl it around your finger, and again, it’ll naturally hold its shape. Bada bing, bada boom. I learned from Tori Avey— and she’s got pictures if this isn’t making sense to you!

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Elderflower French 75
Serves 1
This elderflower French 75 is a less sugary version of the traditional holiday classic!
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lemon
  2. 1 1/2 ounces gin
  3. 1/2 ounces St. Germain or other elderflower liquor
  4. 3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
  5. Dry sparkling wine, such as Prosecco, Champagne, Cava, chilled
  6. 1 cup ice cubes
For Lemon Peel Curl Garnish
  1. Cut a thin slice from the center of a lemon. Make a cut through one side of the peel and the pulp, all the way up to the rind on the other side. Cut the pulp off the peel so that you have one long thin strip of peel. Curl lemon peel around your finger (it'll naturally hold its shape) to create lemon twist garnish. Set lemon aside for future use.
For French 75 with St Germaine
  1. Combine gin, lemon juice, and St. Germain in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into champagne flute or coupe glass. Top with sparkling wine.
  2. Garnish with lemon twist. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. If the French 75 with St. Germain is too tart for your liking, add in 1/2 ounce of simple syrup. That'll sweeten it back up.
  2. You can also use a zester or paring knife to slice peel from lemon in long, thin spiral.
Adapted from epicurious
Adapted from epicurious
Diary of a Debutante https://thediaryofadebutante.com/
So now that you have a delicious sparkling New Year’s Eve cocktail to try (or two– click here for a colorful ombre cranberry sparkler recipe), what are y’all’s plans? Kyle and I will just be getting back from Florida, so we’ll probably lay low. I’m thinking French 75s with St Germain, Pizza Hut, and bed by 10PM. Can you tell we’re party animals? 

Anyways, Merry Christmas– and have a wonderful (and safe!) New Year’s! 

Photography by Catherine Rhodes

Dress from Amazon Fashion. Earrings from Baublebar. Champagne coupe glasses from Amazon. Tray from World Market

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