This pomegranate French 75 is a twist on the classic champagne cocktail, with added brightness from a touch of grenadine. It's easy to make, bright and bubbly. Perfect for a celebration (or any excuse you want to find).
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Bubbles make many a celebration feel that bit more special, I think, whether simply a glass of champagne or some kind of sparkling cocktail. I have made a few over the years, and many are perfect for brunch, being both light and fruity like my strawberry bellini, cava sangria and pineapple mimosa.
While this cocktail is that little stronger, it would fit in perfectly at almost any occasion you choose. It's easy to make, and you can prepare the base in batches if you plan to make a few, too.
What is a French 75 cocktail?
A French 75, or "Soixante Quinze" as it is known in France, is a sparkling cocktail that may possibly be the original champagne cocktail. It's made with lemon juice, simple syrup or sugar, gin or cognac and topped up with champagne.
What are the origins of the French 75?
The French 75 originates from the World War I era. The "75" is said to be named after a piece of WWI artillery. Who or where exactly it was created, however, is a little unclear.
An early version is said to have been made at the New York bar in Paris, that became the well-known Harry's New York bar, after the creative bartender Harry MacElhone. The bar is generally credited with being the birthplace of the French 75, Sidecar and the Bloody Mary, among others, most (like these) by Harry himself.
Whatever the exact origins, it has become a classic. The simple additions both make the drink slightly stronger than plain champagne, but also give more depth of flavor. There's a little freshness from the lemon, and the syrup reduces any tartness.
Choosing your ingredients
've given the classic a slight twist by using grenadine rather than simple syrup in this. It gives a lovely slight fruitiness and pretty pink color, too. If at all possible, use homemade grenadine as it really is so much better flavor-wise, and ingredients-wise. Many commercial ones are mainly high fructose corn syrup and you lose much pomegranate flavor. If you do buy, look for the most natural you can find.
The additions in this cocktail let you get away with a slightly less expensive sparkling wine than you might otherwise choose. True, it's always worth choosing good ingredients, but for this you can get away with good rather than top of the range. A nice cava or prosecco will be just fine, too. Just go for dry (brut) rather than sweet.
More important for this, I'd say, is a relatively good gin or cognac. You don't want a sharp flavor coming through, so go for one that's relatively rounded. Either would work in this, but I think cognac pairs slightly better with the grenadine.
This pomegranate French 75 is an easy and delicious sparkling cocktail. It's brightly colored and with a lovely gently fruity flavor coming through. Perfect for a special occasion, or whatever excuse you want to find.
Try these other sparkling cocktails:
- Lillet spritz - to me, even better than it's better-known cousin, made with Lillet
- Kir imperial - a simple champagne cocktail with raspberry liqueur
- Champagne mojito - just as the name suggests, a mojito with added champagne
- Plus get more inspiration in the cocktail recipes archives.
Pomegranate French 75
- ½ oz grenadine 15ml, 1tbsp (see notes)
- ½ oz lemon juice 15ml, 1tbsp
- 1 oz cognac 30ml (or gin)
- 2 oz champagne 60ml, or more/less as needed
- Put the grenadine, lemon juice and cognac in a cocktail shaker with some ice.
- Cover and shake (or stir well) to cool the mixture then pour into a champagne flute, straining to hold back the ice.
- Carefully top up the glass with champagne.
- Garnish with some pomegranate seeds on a cocktail stick, if you like (or you can use the traditional French 75 garnish, a lemon twist) then serve.