Where to find the best French 75 cocktails in LA
Welcome to the Little Easy, where live jazz plays in a charming French colonial courtyard dappled with chandelier light. Sipping on a French 75 between bites of catfish po’ boys, you just might convince yourself that you're in New Orleans and not in the basement of Downtown's century-old Alexandria Hotel. The cocktail version here is an elegant, tart affair, made with Beefeater Gin, lemon juice and sparkling wine. Knock one back as you listen to the courtyard water fountain trickle among clinking glasses and live music.
Royal is a tribute to all things New Orleans, describing themselves as having "Hollywood looks with Southern swagger." We have a tendency to agree—the lively bar attracts a good-looking crowd who isn't afraid to let loose (with the help of moonshine, perhaps?). If you're not a fan of moonshine, opt for the French 75 instead, one of Royal's signature cocktails. Made with Bombay Dry Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and Martini & Rossi Prosecco, it's a refreshing drink to sip on while you check out tourists walking by on Hollywood Boulevard.
At Preux & Proper, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant and bar Downtown, there are two personalities to discover. Downstairs, Preux is the lively gentleman, with a bar that slings frozen daiquiris from machines on the wall; upstairs, Proper is the Southern belle, featuring an oyster bar and white, hand-carved wood walls. Order the French 75 both upstairs or downstairs here. The drink is expertly made with Hendrick's Gin, champagne and lemon, topped with a curl of lemon peel for garnish. If the weather is nice, be sure to take it outside on the patio and enjoy it while watching Downtown dwellers walk by in envy.
For cocktail worshippers, the Fiscal Agent feels like sacred ground; a hidden temple in which liquid divinity is expertly concocted and salvation is but a few sips away. Lodged above Barrel & Ashes in Studio City, the atmosphere invokes the sultry sophistication of a private club in London or Paris. A new list of cocktails comes out each season, but during happy hour you can score the Fiscal Agent's sultry French 75 for a cool $9. Aviation Gin, lemon, simple syrup and sparkling wine are shaken up to produce this beauty of a drink—to be enjoyed, as per usual at this bar, with a solid soundtrack and some serious mood lighting.
Nestled in Downtown's financial district is Miro, a beautiful dining space that offers California-inspired cuisine with a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influence. Downstairs, a whiskey room offers 1- and 2-ounce pours of rare whiskey, but if you're in the mood for something a little lighter, the French 77 is a fine pick. Similar to a French 75, the 77 uses the usual gin, lemon and sparkling wine, but adds in elderflower liqueur instead of simple syrup. Miro's version is a bubbly, airy delight.
As one of the newest members of the Arts District's One Santa Fe complex, Westbound boasts craft cocktails and small plates in an environment inspired by the luxury railcars of yesteryear. The dimly lit lounge offers a wide selection of house cocktails, but if you're in the mood for something a little more classic, Westbound's French 75 is a clutch pick. Served in a champagne flute, the cocktail includes Beefeater Gin, simple syrup, lemon and bubbly, and is topped with a lemon twist.
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop might not be the first place you think of when you're thirsty for a French 75, but the new Venice location has put a creative spin on the classic cocktail. Using organic brandy—nope, not gin—lemon juice, agave and bitters, the libation takes on a more robust flavor than your typical bubbly version.