French 95

The French 95 is a variation of the classic French 75 that uses bourbon in place of gin. Add lemon juice, simple syrup, and top with sparkling wine, and you have a sparkling bourbon cocktail that’s perfect for celebrations or to accompany spicy meals.

So read on to learn all about bourbon and the detailed tips and tricks for making this cocktail. Or just grab your bubbly, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make a French 95.

orange cocktail in a champagne flute garnished with lemon twist with champagne and whiskey bottle in background.
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Ingredients

bottle of champagne and bottle of bourbon, lemon, and small glass bowl of sugar.

Bourbon – bourbon is a type of whiskey made mostly from corn. They often have a sweet, sometime smoky flavor, that makes them great in cocktails like a sour but also when cooking foods like bourbon apples or bourbon caramel sauce. A couple of my favorites for everyday uses are Woodford Reserve or Makers Mark.

 

Simple syrup – simple syrups are sugar syrups made with sugar and water, usually in equal proportions. I like demerara syrup for this French 95 because its toasted caramel flavor pairs well with bourbon, but you can use any sugar you have on hand.

Sparkling wine – Champagne is the classic sparkling wine called for in a French 75, but you can make cocktails with Cava, other less-expensive sparkling wines made in the méthode champenoise, or even Prosecco. A brut is a good choice here. Go with extra brut if you like a really dry cocktail or an extra dry if you like it sweeter.

If that sparkling wine terminology is confusing to you, you can read all about Prosecco and other sparkling wines. It’s good to know about sparkling wines, not only for New Year’s Eve but also because these wines are great in food pairing. They’re also integral to spritz cocktails like a passion fruit spritz or Negroni spritz or the pornstar martini,

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

Recipe tips and tricks

The French 95 is essentially a whiskey sour topped up with sparkling wine. Combine the sour base in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, and double strain into a champagne flute.

champagne flute filled halfway with orange liquid.

Top the cocktail with sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist.

orange cocktail and lemon twist garnish on a champagne flute on two coasters with champagne and whiskey bottle in background.

Recipe FAQs

How should I store simple syrup?

Extra simple can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or two. Discard if cloudy.

Can I freeze simple syrup?

The freezing point of simple syrup is too low for most home freezers, but you may be able to freeze your simple syrup if you have a deep freezer.

What’s the best glass for a French 95?

A champagne flute is the classic choice, though you can also serve this sparkling bourbon cocktail in a highball or Collins glass over ice.

Love cocktails and want to explore more? Read all about classic cocktails and bartender basics or join this year’s 52 weeks of cocktails challenge!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

French 95

5 from 1 vote
Category: Drinks
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 224kcal
The French 95 is a variation of the classic French 75 that uses bourbon in place of gin. Add lemon juice, simple syrup, and top with sparkling wine, and you have a sparkling bourbon cocktail that's perfect for celebrations or to accompany spicy meals.
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces bourbon
  • 0.75 ounces simple syrup
  • 0.5 ounces lemon juice
  • 3 ounces sparkling wine chilled, brut recommended, see note
  • lemon twist

Instructions

  • Combine the bourbon, simple syrup, lemon juice, and a cup of ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 20 seconds until chilled, then double strain into a champagne flute.
    1.5 ounces bourbon, 0.75 ounces simple syrup, 0.5 ounces lemon juice
  • Top with sparkling wine, and garnish your French 95 with a lemon twist. Enjoy!
    lemon twist, 3 ounces sparkling wine

Notes

You can increase the bourbon in this French 95 to 2 ounces if you prefer a stiffer cocktail.
To make a simple syrup, combine equal amounts of sugar and water in a pot over low heat until the sugar has dissolved and let cool. I recommend a 1 to 1 solution of demerara sugar because it has a bit more flavor, but any simple syrup will work.
A brut sparkling wine made in the champagne-style works best here, but you can use an extra brut if you prefer a drier cocktail or an extra dry if you prefer one that is slighly sweeter. Please check out the schematic in this post about Prosecco if you are confused by sparkling wine terminology.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
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