This recipe was first published as part of our Get to know feature on The French 75.
15ml Lemon juice
1tsp Powdered sugar
125ml Dry champagne (chilled)
Shake everything except the champagne over ice and double strain into a collins glass filled with cracked ice. Top with chilled champagne and briefly stir. Garnish with a long lemon twist shaped into a spiral. Add a straw if you wish.
It has become popular to serve the French 75 up, like other champagne cocktails, in a champagne flute rather than on the rocks in a collins glass. Unfortunately, this elegant presentation tends to require downsizing the recipe. I prefer the traditional collins. Besides guarding against mere gestures of gin and whispers of champagne, the utilitarian glass provides a reminder that this is simply a plush Tom Collins. There is no downside to serving the French 75 on the rocks, since the rich flavours mean ice dilution is not a problem.
The classic variation on the original, common in the United States, sees cognac or brandy replace gin. This produces a smoother, richer drink. While the cognac version might be a touch more luxurious, my sympathies lie with the bracing qualities of juniper.
Finally, bars often forget that a drink advertised as a champagne cocktail should be made from actual champagne. That said, provided the substitution is transparent, any dry sparkling wine of reasonable quality is fine.