Limoncello French 75: Classic Gin Drink w/ Italian Twist

One of my favorite (yet highly underrated) cocktails is the French 75. Since my Italian in-laws always have a bottle of limoncello on hand, I was inspired to put an Italian twist on this drink. This limoncello French 75 is a refreshing citrus twist on the traditional gin-based cocktail!

limoncello french 75 cocktail recipe dinners done quick featured image

What is a French 75?

The French 75 cocktail is a gin-based cocktail, combined with lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne.

This Italian twist uses limoncello liqueur as well, which adds enough sweetness to omit the simple syrup. The tart lemon flavor pairs well with the herbal gin and bubbly, fruity champagne or prosecco for a refreshing drink.

It’s a simple 4 ingredient cocktail that’s great for spring and summer, and works equally well for brunch! I love to make these for Mother’s Day and Easter as well, since the flavor profile is perfect for the season and the occasions.

two champagne flutes filled with limoncello french 75 cocktail against a dark background

Like most cocktails, you can change out some of the ingredients to suit your specific tastes while still preserving the integrity of the drink. So, even if you don’t like gin, don’t write it off! I’ll give you the details on some different options to keep everyone happy.

Limoncello French 75 Ingredients

ingredients to make limoncello french 75
  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce limoncello 
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces champagne or prosecco, chilled

Ingredient Tips and Substitutions

  • If you don’t like gin, substitute cognac, or even vodka (while less traditional, it still pairs well)
  • For a sweeter drink, you can substitute lemonade for the lemon juice, or add ½ ounce of simple syrup instead. However, I personally feel the limoncello is sweet enough on its own that you don’t need to add more
  • You can use either champagne or prosecco, with prosecco being the sweeter of the two (so choose based on your preferences for a dry or sweet drink)
  • Garnishes are optional, but a twist of lemon peel, lemon slice, or a cocktail cherry are common options if you’d like one

How to Make a French 75: Step By Step Instructions

  1. Add gin, limoncello, and lemon juice to a champagne flute, and stir to mix them well
add gin, limoncello, and lemon juice to champagne flute
  1. Slowly pour in chilled champagne or prosecco to top (adjust amount as needed based on size of glasses)
slowly pour champagne or prosecco over limoncello and gin
  1. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel if desired, and enjoy!
overhead view of limoncello french 75 cocktails garnished with lemon

More French 75 Flavors to Try

  • Blood Orange French 75
  • Blueberry French 75
  • Raspberry French 75
  • Strawberry French 75
  • Lavender French 75
  • Blackberry French 75

Recipe FAQs

What Makes a Limoncello French 75 Different from a Classic French 75?

A limoncello French 75 adds a citrus twist to the classic cocktail by incorporating limoncello liqueur, infusing it with vibrant citrus flavors that complement the traditional gin, lemon juice, and champagne.

It’s an Italian variation of the classic that’s ideal for spring and summer, when citrus flavors are most commonly served.

How Do I Make a Limoncello French 75?

To make a limoncello French 75, combine gin, limoncello, and fresh lemon juice in a champagne flute, then stir to combine. Top with champagne, and garnish with a lemon twist if desired.

You can also shake the ingredients (excluding champagne) in a cocktail shaker with ice and pour it into the champagne flute if you’d like an extra chilled drink.

Can I Use Any Type of Champagne for a Limoncello French 75?

Yes, you can use any type of champagne, prosecco, or sparkling wine for a limoncello French 75.

Opt for a dry champagne to balance the sweetness of the limoncello, or experiment with different varieties to find your preferred flavor profile.

What Occasions Should I Serve a Limoncello French 75?

A limoncello French 75 is perfect for brunches, bridal showers, or any celebration where you want to offer an elegant looking cocktail.

It’s also a delightful choice for Easter, Mother’s Day, and summer parties due to the citrus notes and bubbly nature of the drink.

Can I Prepare Limoncello French 75 in Advance?

While it’s best to mix a limoncello French 75 just before serving to maintain its effervescence, you can prepare the base ingredients ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.

Simply add the champagne and garnish just before serving.

Are There Any Variations of Limoncello French 75 I Can Try?

Absolutely! You can experiment with different variations of Limoncello French 75 by substituting other citrus liqueurs for limoncello, such as orange liqueur or grapefruit liqueur, to create unique flavor profiles.

You can also add lemonade instead of lemon juice, swap in citrus vodka or cognac for the gin, and adjust all the proportions to suit your personal tastes.

Can I Make a Mocktail Version of Limoncello French 75?

Yes, you can easily make a non-alcoholic mocktail version of limoncello French 75 by substituting lemonade for the limoncello and omitting the gin entirely.

To replace the champagne, use sparkling apple juice or a sparkling non-alcoholic wine to replace it.

Can I Garnish Limoncello French 75 with Anything Besides a Lemon Twist?

While a lemon twist is a classic garnish for limoncello French 75, you can get creative with other garnishes such as fresh berries, edible flowers, or a sprig of rosemary.

A slice of lemon (or another citrus) or a cocktail cherry would be other alternative choices.

French 75 Recipe Pro Tips

  • A French 75 cocktail is most often served in a champagne flute, but you can also use a white wine glass or coupe glass
  • I make this recipe in a 6-ounce champagne flute. They can vary widely in size, so you can just add extra champagne to fill the glass up to about 8 ounces. For larger 10-ounce glasses, add 1.5x the other ingredients to compensate and preserve the flavor balance
  • If you want to shake the ingredients (except the champagne) in a cocktail shaker with ice, it’s a great way to get an extra-chilled cocktail. However, not everyone has a shaker and that’s totally fine – it’s still a great drink just being stirred!
champagne flute of limoncello french 75 next to prosecco bottle

Storage and Serving Tips for the French 75 Cocktail

  • You may mix everything except the champagne up to 48 hours in advance and store in an airtight container or pitcher in the refrigerator. Fill individual glasses halfway and top with champagne just before serving for maximum fizziness
  • This recipe scales well if you want to serve it for brunch or parties 

More Limoncello Cocktails to Try

Final Thoughts

This limoncello French 75 is the perfect Italian twist on a classic cocktail! The bright lemon flavors are perfect for spring and summer, since they’re vibrant and refreshing.

Serve a French 75 for brunch or at parties – with just 4 ingredients and no fancy equipment needed they’re easy to throw together yet elegant enough to impress. It’s also a suitable cocktail for Mother’s Day, bridal showers, and other special occasions.

If you don’t like gin, don’t worry – you can swap it out for cognac or the less classic but still tasty vodka option. It’s a light and bubbly drink option that’s a citrus lover’s dream!

limoncello french 75 cocktail recipe dinners done quick featured image

Limoncello French 75 (Italian 75)

This limoncello French 75 is an Italian spin on a classic cocktail. With just 4 ingredients it comes together quickly for a refreshing drink perfect for spring and summer.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, French
Servings 1
Calories 230 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce limoncello
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces champagne or prosecco (chilled)

Instructions
 

  • Add gin, limoncello, and lemon juice to a champagne flute, and stir to mix them well
    1 ounce gin, 1 ounce limoncello, ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Slowly pour in chilled champagne or prosecco to top (adjust amount as needed based on size of glasses)
    3 ounces champagne or prosecco
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon peel if desired, and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you don’t like gin, substitute cognac, or even vodka
  • For a sweeter drink, you can substitute lemonade for the lemon juice, or add ½ ounce of simple syrup instead. However, I personally feel the limoncello is sweet enough on its own that you don’t need to add more
  • You can use either champagne or prosecco, with prosecco being the sweeter of the two (so choose based on your preferences for a dry or sweet drink)
  • Garnishes are optional, but a twist of lemon peel, lemon slice, or a cocktail cherry are common options if you’d like one
  • A French 75 cocktail is most often served in a champagne flute, but you can also use a white wine glass or coupe glass
  • I make this recipe in a 6-ounce champagne flute. They can vary widely in size, so you can just add extra champagne to fill the glass up to about 8 ounces. For larger 10-ounce glasses, add 1.5x the other ingredients to compensate and preserve the flavor balance
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand and flavor of ingredients, size of glasses, garnishes added, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 143gCalories: 230kcalCarbohydrates: 13.4gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 19mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 11.2gCalcium: 1mg
Keyword cocktails made with limoncello, french 75 recipes, gin based cocktails, italian 75, italian 75 cocktail, italian 75 drink, limoncello and prosecco, limoncello french 75
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Katie Vine

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