French 75 Cocktail Recipe with Plum Simple Syrup


June 23, 2020

The House Magazine

A close up view of a table setting with a coupe class filled with a yellow drink and garnished with a slice of fruit as the main focus of the scene. A large white vase filled with flowers is in the background.
Beautifully captured by Foxtails Photography.

French 75 with Plum Simple Syrup

A summery twist to the beautiful classic French 75 cocktail recipe. Made with gin, fresh lemon juice, and champagne topped with an easy to make simple syrup with plums, honey and a few sprigs of thyme. It’s the perfect drink for summer brunch!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: Drinks



For the Plum Simple Syrup

  • 6 plums, sliced and pitted
  • 3/4 C raw honey
  • 1/4 water
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the Cocktail

  • 2 oz dry gin
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz plum simple syrup
  • 2 oz champagne
  • Slice of plum to garnish


  1. Pit and slice the plums. Add them to a sauce pan with the honey, water and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the plums have completely softened and the honey has dissolved. Strain into a jar using a fine mesh sieve. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the gin, lemon juice, syrup and champagne. Shake for about 20 seconds, or until the shaker is completely chilled. Strain the cocktail into a glass filled with ice, garnish with a plum and enjoy!


Substitute the gin with vodka if you or your guests have the preference. If you need a version that is less strong, use less gin. The leftover plum simple syrup can be saved in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

Keywords: cocktail recipe, French 75 cocktail, champagne, gin

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Simple Syrup with Honey

The syrup in this French 75 cocktail is fabulous. Simple syrups are one of my favorite places to experiment with flavor combinations. It’s been the easiest way for me to put my own spin on classic recipes. As I’ve said in a few other posts here, I have worked to cut out refined sugar in many areas of my cooking/baking. Replacing it with honey in simple syrups has never disappointed. It ads to the flavor and pairs well with many herbs and fruits used often to create a beautiful base for so many cocktails, including our Carrot Ginger Cocktail.

A brightly lit outdoor scene with a bottle of gin, champagne and a coupe glass filled with a yellow drink garnished with fruit.
Beautifully captured by Foxtails Photography.

Things You May Need for French 75 Cocktails

Honey may be more on the spendy side, but it mentally feels better knowing I am not drinking 1-2 cups of straight sugar to sweeten our alcoholic beverages. Typically simple syrup is made with equal parts water and sugar. I’ve gotten away with about 3/4 cup honey to 1-1 and 1/2 cups of water to make my syrups. Remember, you get tons of natural sweetener from fruit if you are using that to flavor the syrup – like I did here with the plums.

How to Make a French 75 Cocktail

Well, it’s easy. Combine the gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and the plum simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Give it a good shake until the shaker is noticeably cold – about 20 seconds. If you want, strain the liquid through a Howthorne strainer or whatever you typically use to strain cocktails. If you don’t have anything or the time and need to get right down to enjoying the drink, skip that step altogether. Garnish with a slice of plum, or a twirl of a lemon peel.

A small table sitting in front of an old cottonwood tree decorated with white baby's breath flowers. A bottle of gin, champagne and a coupe glass filled with a drink is sitting on the table.
Beautifully captured by Foxtails Photography.

Can You Make a French 75 with Vodka

So many people that I know do not like gin. Vodka is the perfect substitution for those that cannot get past the so-called “pine needle” flavor that comes with gin. I am a definite gin fan, so the “pine needle” vibe foreign to me and I have a hard time understanding. We can still be friends though. And I will make you one of these with Vodka. And it will be just as good. So come over.

Can You Make a French 75 with Lime

Definitely. But it can seem a bit more on the sweet side. My recommendations to combat said sweetness – stick to a honey based simple syrup instead of the classic sugar and water. Do this and all should be well.

A close up view of a coupe glass filled with a cocktail and garnished with a slice of a plums sitting on a table draped in a mauve table cloth.
Beautifully captured by Foxtails Photography.