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French 76 Cocktail

This elegant French 76 cocktail is a fizzy and festive drink perfect for celebrating. Made with champagne and vodka, it gets a hint of sweetness from maple syrup and is served with a ruby-red maraschino cherry.

Two French 76 cocktails in champagne glasses

Looking for an elegant yet easy drink to serve at your next celebration? Meet the French 76 cocktail. It’s a simple sip that comes together in minutes, yet has all the festive flair you want to commemorate a special occasion. Serve it during the holidays, on New Year’s eve, or just to toast a recent success. It is boozy though! You’ll only need one of these babies to feel the effects.

Why You’ll Love This French 76 Cocktail

There are many things to love about this 4-ingredient cocktail:

  • Easy. The French 76 is one of the easiest cocktails ever. You’ll only need 4-ingredients and 1 minute.
  • Impressive. Despite the minimal effort, this cocktail looks super fancy! People will feel special when you make this cocktail for them.
  • Fun and Tasty. Between the sweetness of the maraschino cherry and the fizziness of the champagne, sipping on this cocktail is a sensory experience. Scoop the cherry out and pop it into your mouth, sip on the bubbles, and enjoy this cocktail with a selection of appetizers for the ultimate experience.
  • Elegant. There’s just something about a champagne flute that feels extra elegant.
Strong champagne cocktaill

What is a French 76?

The French 76 is a twist on the classic French 75, which is a cocktail created in 1915 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. The name was a nod to how strong the drink is. It was said to be as powerful as a French 75mm field gun.

What’s the Difference Between a French 75 and a French 76? 

A classic French 75 cocktail is made with champagne, gin, and lemon juice. The 76 came after the 75 and is essentially the same drink but made with vodka instead of gin. I also added a touch of maple syrup to add a bit of sweetness and extra flavor. Both the French 75 and the French 76 are served in champagne glass flutes with a maraschino cherry at the bottom.

Can I Make This Recipe into a French 75?

You can use this French 76 recipe to make a French 75. All you need to do is replace the vodka in the recipe with the same quantity of gin. One easy recipe, two tasty champagne cocktails! 

Two champagne glasses with cherries, champagne being poured into one.

What You’ll Need

Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients you need to make a French 76. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • Vodka – Any brand of vodka will work. Plain vodka is traditional in this drink, but you can also try using flavored vodka. Blueberry vodka, elderberry vodka, or any kind of citrus vodka will all be delicious. 
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed juice is best.
  • Maple Syrup – Use pure maple syrup, not the imitation stuff.
  • Champagne – Cold, freshly popped champagne is best. Dry or sweet champagne will work wonderfully so choose whichever type you prefer. Also, since champagne is the star of this drink, be sure to use a high-quality variety.

Can I Use Prosecco Instead of Champagne?

Yes, you can use prosecco in place of champagne. Prosecco and champagne are similar in both flavor and fizz. Champagne comes from Champagne, France while Prosecco is made in Italy.

How to Make a French 76

Are you craving a bubbly French 76 yet? Here’s how to make it: 

  • Pour the vodka, lemon juice, and maple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice then cover the shaker and shake for about 30 seconds. 
  • Add a maraschino cherry to the bottom of a champagne glass.
  • Strain the shaken vodka mixture into the champagne glass. 
  • Top the glass with champagne, filling it to the rim. 
  • Enjoy!
Two french 76 cocktails next to a tray of brie bites

Is a French 76 a Strong Cocktail?

Yes. The French 76 is a pretty strong cocktail. It is made with a blend of vodka and champagne, two types of alcohol that mix to create a powerful drink.

My recipe uses one and a half ounces of vodka which is equivalent to a shot of vodka mixed into a full glass of champagne. You will definitely feel the effects after just one cocktail. 

Two french 76 cocktails next to a tray of brie bites

Serving Suggestions

Cocktails always taste better served with food. Here are a few ideas of what to serve with a French 76:

  • Brie Bites – A riff on the classic appetizer made with apricot jam instead of cranberry sauce.
  • Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta – Another twist on a classic. This bruschetta recipe is made with strawberries instead of tomatoes.
  • Baked Camembert Cheese – Elegant and super simple!
  • Bready Things – Salty crackers, or toasted slices of french bread with various topping options.
  • Fruits – Serve a simple platter filled with a selection of fruits.
  • Charcuterie Board – I have a Halloween-themed charcuterie board, or you could find tons of fun ideas in this post from Joyful Healthy Eats.

More Cocktail Recipes to Try

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French 76 Cocktail

Two champagne glasses with french 76 cocktails
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This elegant French 76 cocktail is a fizzy and festive drink perfect for celebrating. Made with champagne and vodka, it gets a hint of sweetness from maple syrup and is served with a ruby-red maraschino cherry.

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Shake
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 oz pure maple syrup
  • 34 oz champagne
  • Ice
  • Maraschino cherry

Instructions

  • Add the vodka, lemon juice and maple to a cocktail shaker.
  • Fill the shaker the rest of the way with ice, add the lid and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  • Place a maraschino cherry in the bottom of the glass.
  • Strain the chilled liquid into the glass.
  • Top off with champagne and serve.

Notes

You can make up to 4 of these drinks at a time, depending on the capacity of your cocktail shaker.

Keywords: French 76, champagne cocktail, vodka cocktail

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