French 76: Vodka Twist on the Classic French 75 Recipe

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Gather round as we give the French 75 classic cocktail recipe a vodka twist! Known for its simple ingredients and elegant profile, this beloved libation has stood the test of time but now gets a modern twist as a French 76, by incorporating vodka into the classic recipe. 

So, put on your beret, grab your shaker, and get ready to sip on something truly magnifique!

A french 75 recipe with vodka

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As someone who usually orders white wine at an event, I had never heard of the French 75.

Not until I was at my sister’s retirement dinner party. 

Missy and Shelley having a cocktail.

To be honest, I never really know what to order during a cocktail hour other than wine.

Evidently, my daughter doesn’t either.

At the party, she started to order a basic vodka cranberry and my niece quickly intervened with the recommendation of a French 75.

I decided to try it too…

Game changer! 

The French 75 is now one of my favorite cocktails and I love to order it and make it on special occasions. 

Let’s see…New Year’s Eve, conference in New Orleans, Sunday brunch!

Now, I’m giving the original recipe for the gin cocktail French 75 a little twist and turning it into a French 76!

The History Behind the French 75 Cocktail

But first…

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and uncover the fascinating history of the French 75 cocktail. Legend has it that this delightful libation first made its appearance during World War I at the famed Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. 

The Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Originally named after the French 75-mm field gun, the cocktail recipe was said to have packed quite a punch, much like its namesake. Traditionally crafted with a combination of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and topped off with champagne, French 75s quickly became a favorite among French military soldiers and civilians alike for its refreshing taste and celebratory flair. 

Over the years, this elegant concoction has remained a staple of cocktail culture, beloved for its timeless charm and versatility. 

Now that we know the cocktail history of the French 75, let’s turn it into a French 76!

Why is it Called a French 76? 

When vodka is used instead of gin in the recipe, it creates a variation known as the French 76. The “76” in the name is likely a nod to the substitution of vodka, indicating a slight variation from the original French 75 recipe.

French 76 Champagne Cocktail Ingredients

First up, gather your ingredients:

  • 1 ounce of vodka (choose your favorite brand for that personalized touch)
  • 1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice (because fresh squeezed is best!)
  • 1/4 ounce of simple syrup (homemade or store-bought, whichever tickles your fancy. Homemade instructions below.)
  • 2 ounces of chilled champagne, prosecco, or other sparkling wine (because we’re all about that bubbly)
  • Maraschino cherries or lemon peel for garnish (because presentation matters)
A bottle of vodka and a bottle of Prosecco to make a french 75 recipe with vodka

Shake It Up

Got everything? Excellent! Grab your mixology kit and let’s get shaking:

First, fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes—enough to make your drink frosty and fabulous.

Then measure and pour in the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Think of it as adding the building blocks of flavor.

Pouring vodka to turn a French 75 recipe into a French 76.
Pouring lemon to make a French 76.
Pouring simple syrup to make a French 76.

Shake it like you mean it!

Channel your inner bartender and give that shaker a good shimmy!

I like to pretend that I am Tom Cruise in the movie “Cocktail” for about 10-15 seconds.

We’re aiming for that perfect blend of flavors for a tantalizing le breuvage!

Missy shaking ingredients for a French 75 recipe with vodka for a French 76.

Next, strain your concoction into a chilled champagne flute.

Top it all off with the star of the show—2 ounces (or more… up to you!) of chilled champagne or prosecco.

Watch it fizz and sparkle like a celebration in a glass!

Pouring prosecco into a champagne flute.

Garnish your bubbly cocktail with a maraschino cherry or lemon rind curl for that final touch of elegance.

A French 76 with a lemon zest twist.
French 76 cocktail: a variation on the French 75

French 76: Vodka Twist on the Classic French 75

Experience the French 76 cocktail—a contemporary take on the classic French 75. This cocktail blends vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne for a refreshing and elegant drink.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine French
Servings 1 person
Calories 150 kcal


  • 1 jigger
  • 1 cocktail shaker
  • 1 strainer
  • 1 small knife


  • 1 fl. oz. Vodka
  • 1/2 fl. oz. Lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 fl. oz Simple syrup
  • Champagne or Prosecco
  • Marachino cherries optional
  • 1 lemon peel curl optional


  • Shake the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice in a cocktail shaker.
  • Strain into a chilled glass and top it off with Champagne or Prosecco.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry or lemon peel curl.
Keyword easy cocktail recipe, french 75 recipe vodka, vodka cocktail

How to Make Simple Syrup

Making simple syrup is, well, simple! All you need is equal parts water and sugar. Start by heating the water in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Then, stir in an equal amount of sugar until it completely dissolves.

Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature. Transfer it to a clean bottle or jar, and it’s ready to use!

A glass canister full of sugar.

The Perfect Pairing

Now, what’s a delightful cocktail without some equally delectable companions? Pair your French 76 with an array of savory appetizers.

Try this Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Crostini recipe from my friend Susan at Hen and Horse Design. So yummy!

Or, try my recipe for Crispy Bruschetta topped with ripe tomatoes and basil!


Bruschetta topped with tomatoes and basil.

Sip, Savor, Repeat:

Voilà! Your French 76 masterpiece is ready to be enjoyed. Take a moment to admire its golden hue, and its effervescent charm, and let your taste buds tingle with anticipation. Then, take a sip and prepare to be transported to cocktail nirvana.

With its crisp citrus notes, delicate sweetness, and a subtle kick of vodka, the French 76 is a symphony of flavors that dances on the palate. It’s the kind of drink that makes you want to close your eyes, savor each sip, and lose yourself in the moment.

Final Thoughts

As we raise our glasses to the French 76, let’s toast to the spirit of innovation, creativity, and joie de vivre that lives in the world of mixology.

Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail aficionado (not me!) or a curious newbie (ME!), there’s always something new to discover!

A French 76 that is a French 75 recipe with vodka

So, next time you’re in the mood for a taste of elegance with a modern twist, reach for the French 76. Let its effervescent charm whisk you away on a journey of flavor and fun.

Cheers to good times, great company, and unforgettable cocktails!

À votre santé

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French 76: Vodka Twist on the Classic French 75 Recipe Pinterest Pin

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