This recipe is courtesy of Kit Wohl's Cookbook Studio and her Arnaud’s Restaurant Cookbook (Pelican Publishing). Kit appears regularly in the kitchen on the Sunday edition of Eyewitness Morning News, Sundays at 6 a.m.


Arnaud’s French 75 Bar is a James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Bar Program along with another New Orleans finalist, Cure. The awards, considered as the Oscars of the food and beverage industry, are scheduled for May 1 in Chicago. The ceremonies will be live streamed at

Tune in, and shake up some French 75 cocktails to enjoy and watch as a dozen New Orleans nominees anticipate the results. New York is the only city to exceed New Orleans’ number of finalists.


The French 75 has always been served at Arnaud’s, returning to popularity with the resurgence of cocktails. Fine champagne and excellent cognac is especially important. This cocktail is so favored there the late Archie A. Casbarian renamed his bar for it. New Orleans’ past under the French flag salutes the French 75 cocktail. It is topped off with champagne and, contrary to belief, made with cognac. Some prefer gin, but it just doesn’t seem fitting. During WWI, officers and soldiers were fortified before battle with French champagne and cognac. The name stems from the 75mm howitzers placed along the Maginot Line.

1 1/2 ounces cognac
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon simple syrup *
4 ounces champagne
lemon curl, for garnish

Place the cognac, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice and shake only long enough to chill. Pour into a frosted champagne glass, top with champagne and add a lemon curl. Serve immediately.

*Simple syrup is equal amounts of sugar and water boiled together until the sugar is dissolved. It keeps well, covered in the refrigerator.