Easy Elderflower French 75 Cocktail

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This elderflower French 75 recipe is a fun and easy twist on the classic cocktail that is both wonderful for serving at parties or to accompany Sunday brunch!

Even though our wedding was a few weeks ago, Julian and I are still in a celebratory mood! This is a twist on one of the cocktails we served at our wedding and it was a hit. I think this is now one of my new favorite cocktails! One thing I love about a French 75 cocktail is how versatile it is - you can sip them on a patio for a summer dinner al fresco, but they are also lovely to enjoy at a celebration in colder months like new year's eve. They are effortlessly sophisticated and so delicious!

I will also add that French 75's are a deceptively strong drink.

The floral notes in the elderflower liqueur paired with sparkling wine make this drink taste very light and effortless to sip. This makes them great (yet dangerous) for brunch, but they still pack enough punch for a cocktail hour in the evening with friends too!

Elderflower French 75 Cocktails on black serving platter
Elderflower French 75 Cocktails

What is a French 75?

A French 75 is a classic champagne cocktail which includes gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne or sparkling wine to top it up. It is often garnished with a lemon twist or fresh lemon slices and served in a champagne flute or coupe glass.

Not surprisingly, early versions of this cocktail were found at the legendary Harry's New York Bar in Paris, dating back to World War I.  

What Makes this Drink Special?

This drink has a unique and crazy delicious twist on regular French 75s by adding some St. Germain elderflower liqueur. The floral notes from the St. Germain are the perfect complement to the botanicals in the gin which create a smooth and slightly sweet, slightly tangy delight!

What is Elderflower Liqueur?

Elderflower liqueur is a sweet alcohol made using the small, white flowers of the elderflower bush. It has a delicate flavor that adds the perfect floral notes to make a twist on many classic cocktails! St. Germain is the leading producer of elderflower liqueur, and you can find it at almost any local liquor store. The petals from the elderflowers are hand-picked and each bottle of St. Germain is numbered to indicate the year that the flowers were collected. Although elderflower liqueur is a relatively new creation - St. Germain started selling elderflower liqueur in 2007 - it has quickly become a necessary staple in the modern home bar!

Elderflower French 75 Cocktails on black serving platter
Elderflower French 75 Cocktails

Which Gin to Use?

The gin you use in this cocktail is important, as you want to complement the citrus and floral flavors from the elderflower liqueur and lemon juice but not overpower it. For this reason, you want to use a gin that has more botanical notes and is less juniper heavy. A personal favorite of mine for this cocktail is the Empress 1908 gin. It also has a purple color to it, which makes it a fun pinkish purple hue when mixed for presentation!

Which Champagne to Use

Although this is a champagne cocktail, I prefer to not use the nicest French champagnes in a cocktail like this, as I believe they should be enjoyed with minimal additions to them. A Spanish cava or sweet Italian prosecco will work just great for this cocktail, and will not break the bank!

What Do I Need to Make an Elderflower French 75?

While the full ingredient list is available in the recipe card below, here are some tips on what you will need to make this delicately delightful cocktail!

  • Gin
  • Elderflower liqueur (I love to use St Germain for this recipe, but any brand will work)
  • Simple syrup
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sparkling wine (champagne, cava, or prosecco)
  • Lemon zest, twist, or slice for garnish
Elderflower French 75 Cocktails on black serving platter
Elderflower French 75 Cocktails

How to Make an Elderflower French 75 Cocktail

While the full recipe instructions are available below, here are some tips to make one of the easiest drink recipes that all of your friends and family will love!

  • Simply add all of the ingredients except for the sparkling wine to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled.
  • Pour into champagne flutes or coupe glasses.
  • Top up with sparkling wine or champagne.
  • Add your favorite garnish and enjoy. Cheers!

Tips for a Better Cocktail

To make this tasty gin cocktail the best it can be, here are some general tips when preparing this perfect easy cocktail.

  • Simple Syrup: It is imperative that you prepare your simple syrup properly when using it in cocktails. This means boiling equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is just dissolved into the water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three to four weeks. Make sure you give the simple syrup enough time to cool completely, or you will not get the cold temperature you need for your cocktails.
  • Ice: When making a cocktail using a cocktail shaker, you need to make sure you add lots of ice to your shaker before adding your ingredients. This is important, because it will get the ingredients cold and also completely mix all of your ingredients together.
Elderflower French 75 Cocktails on black serving platter
Elderflower French 75 Cocktails

How to Make This Cocktail a Mocktail

To make this cocktail recipe into a mocktail you simply need to make a couple of adjustments to this recipe.

  • Add your lemon juice and simple syrup to a shaker filled with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled and combined. Pour into a champagne flute or coupe glass and top up with sparkling water and garnish as desired.

To get that elderflower twist, simply use club soda or sparkling water that has an infusion of elderflower in it as a substitute for sparkling wine. I also love to use elderflower tonic water for this purpose. Note that if you use tonic water, it can be quite sweet already so you may need less simple syrup than you would use in the original recipe.

More Cocktails You Need to Try

If you enjoyed this sweet gin cocktail and are looking for more drink recipes to try, check out some of my other favourite drinks on the blog!

  • The Best Italian Margaritas
  • Best Basil Lemon Drop Cocktails
  • Raspberry Cosmopolitan
  • Rosemary Gin Gimlet
  • Raspberry Bees Knees

Easy Elderflower French 75 Cocktail

This elderflower French 75 recipe is a fun and easy twist on the classic cocktail that is both wonderful for serving at parties or to accompany Sunday brunch!

Author:
Kirsten

Ingredients

Makes one cocktail:

  • 1+1/2 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz Elderflower liqueur (I love to use St Germain for this recipe, but any brand will work)
  • 1/2 oz Simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-4 oz Sparkling wine (champagne, cava, or prosecco)
  • Lemon zest, twist, or slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. Simply add all of the ingredients except for the sparkling wine to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled.
  2. Pour into champagne flutes or coupe glasses. Top up with sparkling wine or champagne.
  3. Add your favorite garnish and enjoy. Cheers!

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