For A Uniquely Delicious Twist On A French 75 Cocktail Use Cognac Instead Of Gin

The French 75 cocktail typically relies on gin and Champagne for its alcohol base and is combined with lemon juice and simple syrup before being served in a flute glass garnished with a lemon twist. The drink's roots date back to World War I, and it's even named after the French 75-millimeter artillery gun used during the battle. Over the years, the cocktail has evolved in many ways and everything from applejack to grenadine has been used as mixers. 

Out of all of the variations and alternative ingredients, Cognac is a relatively common swap for gin used in versions of the French 75 dating back to the drink's inception. Some bartenders and mixologists might refer to the Cognac–infused French 75 as a French 125, supposedly named for another type of gun. Cognac is a type of aged brandy made with grapes grown in France's Cognac region. 

Unlike gin, the dark liquor has fruity and woody notes that give the cocktail deeper and richer flavors — plus a darker golden color. There are different types of Cognac categorized based on how long the spirit is aged, so pay attention to the bottle when making a French 75 with the liquor. Some might even say that this version is more authentically French since Cognac is produced in the country, while most gin comes from the United Kingdom.

Sweeten your French 75 with simple syrup or sugar

Making a French 75 with Cognac instead of gin is an easy ingredient swap. If you haven't made the cocktail at home, refer to our French 75 cocktail recipe from Tasting Table recipe developer Michelle McGlinn. She suggests using 1 ounce of either gin or Cognac, so you don't have to worry about measuring a different amount — and we won't blame you if you pour a little more booze into the glass. 

The rest of the glass is filled with Champagne or sparkling wine. To offset the bolder flavor of Cognac, some recipes suggest mixing powdered sugar with fresh lemon juice as a base, or you can use simple syrup like McGlinn suggests. The rest of the ingredients are basically the same, but there are some slight deviations for other Cognac French 75 recipes that you can experiment with.

Some versions suggest adding a couple of drops of bitters with Cognac in every French 75 while other recipes use half an ounce of Cointreau to impart an orange essence to the drink. And if Cognac, or dark liquor in general, is not your preference, swap the gin or Cognac with rum, trade the lemon juice for lime, and add fresh mint leaves to craft a mojito-inspired French 75 called an Old Cuban.