Skinny French 75 Champagne Cocktail: Celebrate With Less Sugar

2 servings
5 min

Inside: The elegant French 75 classic cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, and champagne is perfect for any kind of celebration and so easy with this four ingredient recipe, including a low sugar, low carb, keto-friendly version! ➡

Looking for a classy and classic cocktail for your next party? The elegant French 75 is the perfect drink for toasting the New Year and to celebrate any occasion.

And it feels fancy. Like wearing pearls while sipping from a champagne flute in Paris with “La Vie En Rose” playing in the background. Yet it’s as simple to make as pouring three ingredients into a glass!

I’m a big Prosecco and champagne lover so the first time I ever sipped this delight in New Orleans I was hooked. But because of the simple syrup, I usually save them for special occasions.

So along with the traditional French 75 recipe, I’m including a keto, low-carb, low-sugar adapted version of the classic cocktail if you’re also sugar conscious.

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What is a French 75?

This beautiful, bubbly refreshing cocktail is a combination of gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup topped off with a little champagne or sparkling wine. Its blend of flavors – fresh citrus, a slight amount of sweetness, gin botanicals, and crisp bubbles make this drink go down easy (you’ll do well to remember it’s not just a glass of champagne).

Why is it called a French 75?

The name for the French 75 cocktail actually came from a French military 75-mm field gun in World War I. The weapon’s extreme accuracy and kick inspired a bartender in 1915 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris to create a cocktail with that same powerful punch. Early versions made you feel like you’d been hit by this gun – they included not only gin and champagne but brandy as well. (This bar is also famous for inventing the Bloody Mary and the Sidecar!)

How to make the classic French 75 cocktail.

For one cocktail you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 oz. champagne, prosecco, or other sparkling wine
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 lemon twist

To make a traditional French 75, combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker over ice cubes. Shake to chill, then strain into a flute or champagne coupe glass. Then top with champagne, prosecco, or any other type of sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist.

Lower sugar French 75 cocktail recipe.

Most of the sugar in a French 75 is from the simple syrup. Regular simple syrup is “simply” equal parts of water and granulated white sugar which has been heated, dissolved, and cooled.

To make a keto cocktail, replace the traditional sugar syrup in the classic recipe with either keto simple syrup (below) or with a liquid alternative sweetener like the Splenda product line of liquid sweeteners. You’re not totally sugar-free since the champagne has a little, but it’s much less!

Low-Carb French 75 (per drink):

  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 oz. champagne, prosecco, or other sparkling wine
  • 1/2 oz. keto simple syrup OR two squirts liquid artificial sweetener to taste
  • 1 lemon twist

Again, shake the gin, lemon juice, and keto simple syrup or liquid artificial sweetener over ice in a cocktail shaker, pour into a flute, and top with champagne. (see the classic recipe above)

How to make keto simple syrup.

Making your own homemade low-carb simple syrup is just as easy as making it with sugar. But you do want to use the right artificial sweetener. Most of the sugar replacements like erythritol and monk fruit will crystallize once they cool – not really a texture you want in your drink.

The best alcohol low-carb sweetener to use for simple syrup is Allulose. You can find it in most grocery stores with the artificial sweeteners. Allulose dissolves easily and is slightly less sweet than sugar.

Keto simple syrup follows the same traditional recipe:

Combine equal parts of sugar and water in a small saucepan. (ex. 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water)

  • Heat on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid comes to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Store in the fridge for the longest shelf life in a pretty pouring bottle or a mason jar.

How to make a lemon curl.

This drink only looks like a French 75 with its signature lemon twist! It’s easy to make a lemon twist or curl with just a paring knife.

  • Cut the lemon in half and then cut off one end.
  • Cut out the fruit close to the peel slicing away as much of the white pith as possible. Turning it over to also cut from the other side makes the fruit easier to remove.
  • Cut the lemon peel into a thin strip, turning the lemon rind as you go.
  • Twist the strip and hold it for a few seconds to help it curl. Then it’s ready to hang on the glass or float in the cocktail.
Big batch French 75 for a crowd.

If you’re serving these at a party and don’t want to constantly play bartender, make them in bulk. You can either:

  • Make four drinks at a time in one cocktail shaker: Shake 6 oz. gin, 3 oz. lemon juice, 2 oz. simple syrup or keto simple syrup over ice, pour into glasses, and top with champagne.
  • Make a pitcher: Mix 1 1/2 cups gin, 3/4 cups lemon juice, and 1/2 cup syrup (or keto syrup) in a pitcher. Chill in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, pour 3 ounces into each glass and top with 3 ounces of champagne.

French 75 FAQs.

Can you use vodka instead of gin?

Yes, you can. This version is called a “French 76”.

Can you make a French 75 without alcohol?

To make a French 75 mocktail, replace the gin and champagne with tonic water and a few dashes of cocktail bitters. Or replace the champagne with nonalcoholic sparkling wine and the gin with the tonic water and bitters.

French 75 variations.

There are countless versions of the French 75 which experiment with switching the gin and juice.

How about a South Mint 75 with lime juice and mint? Or add some St. Germain Elderflower liqueur for a French 77. Or a festive holiday red drink with pomegranate juice.

When to serve the French 75 cocktail.

This classic drink is perfect for celebrations of all kinds or any occasion where you’d usually have champagne! Times like:

  • The holiday season
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Mother’s Day
  • Any nice dinner or brunch
  • Bridal showers
  • Bachelorette parties
  • Valentine’s Day or any romantic meal
  • A summer soiree
  • Or just to celebrate life!

If you’re looking for more fun bubbly cocktails, this book is full of them (and makes a great gift paired with Prosecco or champagne flutes).


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Skinny French 75 Champagne Cocktail: Celebrate With Less Sugar
Recipe details
  • 2  servings
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 5 min
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  • 3 oz. gin
  • 1 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 6 oz. champagne, prosecco, or sparkling wine
  • 1 oz. simple syrup or keto syrup see post for directions
  • 2 lemon twists see post for directions

Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup (or keto sweetener) in a cocktail shaker over ice cubes.
Shake to chill, then strain 3 oz. into each champagne flute.
Top with 3 oz. champagne or sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist.
Kate Rodgers - Southern Home and Hospitality
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