This session, we discuss another Smokestack classic, the Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A bubbly, refreshing spritz based on the French 75.

French 75

If you’re going on a drinks pilgrimage of New Orleans, at some point your journey will include sipping on a French 75, at the bar in Arnaud’s restaurant. The bar, also named French 75, dates back to the mid-19th century and offers a sanctuary from the more raucous bars on Bourbon Street.

cocktail bar

During WWI in France, there was a field gun renowned for its efficiency. The 75-millimetre artillery piece could lay down 15 rounds per minute and be incredibly adaptable on the battlefield. After the Great War had finished there were serval recipes for a French 75 published, all with a slightly different take on the way it should be served and ingredients.

As is the case with many cocktails which have a history stretching back over 100 years, the discussion around the original recipe can be contentious.  There are versions with cognac, gin, applejack, grenadine, calvados, absinthe…. but which is right? Ask for a French 75 at most cocktail bars and you will most likely end up with a concoction of gin, lemon, sugar and champagne – similar to its not too distant cousin, the Tom Collins. Probably because this is the most palatable version. That said, using cognac as a base instead of gin can offer different flavour complexities and there are arguments to suggest that this is the most traditional. Historically, mixing Eaux de vie (grape distillate used in cognac) with champagne was a common practice in France.

Depending on the era, the drink has been served straight up, in a champagne flute or over ice.

We like to mix ours up ‘spritz’ style, over ice, in a large wine glass. Taking delicate Plymouth gin and blending with our homemade elderflower cordial, before topping with prosecco and Double Dutch basil & pomegranate soda.  An invigorating drink for a summer’s day. 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s


Plymouth dry gin
elderflower & lemon balm cordial*
Double Dutch basil & pomegranate soda

Build and stir with ice in a wine glass
Garnish with dehydrated grapefruit & mint
*Combine leftover lemon husks with sugar, dried elderflower, and lemon balm.