A French 75 champagne cocktail, elevated with floral lavender simple syrup. It’s an elegant cocktail perfect for a holiday celebration or brunch!
Cheers to the final few days of 2019! Can you believe it’s New Year’s Eve already?
Another year down, another year of recipes, another year of food, another year of cheers-ing with superb cocktails.
And a superb cocktail this French 75. Whether you’re looking for an elegant and impressive cocktail for New Year’s Eve or a bridal shower brunch, this is it.
Heck, even if it’s a lazy Saturday morning in your PJs with a Netflix binge, this is your ticket to brunch happiness.
What is a French 75?
A lovely, lovely cocktail that not only deserves a place at every brunch table but makes its way on summertime patios during happy hour beautifully, too.
It’s a cocktail made with liquor – usually gin – sometimes cognac, sometimes vodka. It also has effervescent champagne (or prosecco), lemon juice, and a bit of sugar or simple syrup.
It’s bright, refreshing, and light. It has a subtle floral flavor. It’s balanced and just different enough from your usual glass of wine to feel extra special.
Vodka or Gin?
Now, the real question: vodka or gin? I’d always known French 75s to be made with gin. But the more you know…
You know how that goes.
When testing this cocktail, I naturally made it with gin. It was delicious. But the lavender didn’t seem to shine through as I imagined.
With a little enlightenment, I learned that this champagne cocktail can, in fact, be made with vodka. I also learned that it’s sometimes made with cognac.
AND ALSO that gin and vodka can really be swapped for each other in cocktails. Hmm, mind blown.
Long story – er, long – we tested it with vodka and liked it even more. The lavender shone through, the lemon still bright and refreshing.
Which liquor should you use? I’m writing this French 75 recipe with vodka – because it’s what I recommend after my various tests (the job is rough, but someone has to do it). However, like gin? Have gin? Go for the gin.
How to Make a French 75
I’m going for the easiest way possible to make a cocktail: in one glass.
Now, if you want to mix them in the glass together, I’d recommend making sure you start with chilled ingredients.
Not chilled? No problem! You can use a cocktail shaker with ice for the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
Add the vodka (1) to your champagne flute (or wine glass as needed… or shaker if going that route).
Next, add the lemon juice. (2) Fresh squeezed is the only way to go. Ever. But really here. As you know, I love using this citrus juicer because E.A.S.Y.
Then, the lavender simple syrup. (3) So floral and fragrant. The perfect pair to lemon. See more below for how to make my lavender simple syrup recipe using culinary lavender!
Last up, top with champagne. (4) Champagne, prosecco, brut… whichever you use, the light bubbles balance out the booze and create the most lovely champagne cocktail around.
How to Make Lavender Simple Syrup
One of the best ways to add unique flavors to cocktails is making an infused simple syrup. It’s easy and quick to do, and takes your beverages to the next level!
To make any simple syrup, you’ll start with equal parts of sugar and water. For lavender simple syrup, in go the dried lavender flowers.
Bring to a boil, and simmer until the sugars dissolved. Then, let it simmer for a minute or two. Remove from heat and let the lavender infuse into the syrup further, for about 10 minutes.
The rest time will let it cool off, too, so it will be ready to use immediately.
Make it advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge for Lavender French 75 cocktails whenever the mood strikes. WIN!
How to Garnish this Cocktail
I love garnishing this cocktail with a garnish of lemon. A lemon twist makes it feel extra fancy.
Grab one of these channel knife tools to easily make a lemon peel twist, or use a pairing knife to slice off a bit of fresh lemon zest.
You can also top with the dried lavender buds as desired. While they interfere a bit with the drinking part, they sure do look pretty!
Looking for brunch food pairings? Check out these recipes!
- Lemon Lavender Scones
- Lemon Almond Bundt Cake
- Almond Cardamom Cake
- Strawberry Lemon Macarons
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
Lavender Infused French 75
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon dried lavender flowers
- 3/4 oz. vodka or gin
- 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. lavender simple syrup
- ~4 oz. Champagne or prosecco
- Simple Syrup: in a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, water, and lavender flowers. Bring to a simmer to allow sugar to dissolve in the water; continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let infuse for 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge if not using immediately.
- Cocktail: in a Champagne flute, add chilled vodka, lemon juice, and lavender simple syrup. Top with Champagne or prosecco and garnish with lemon peel as desired.