Paris is known for its wonderful wines, but its alcoholic offerings by no means end there. Home to some of the best bars in the world, it’s no wonder this city’s cocktails are such a hit among locals and tourists alike.
From timeless classics to modern mixes, here’s a list of 10 Parisian Cocktails to give you a taste of Paris, wherever you are.
Dating back to the Art Deco Era, this pretty little thing is a favourite amongst Parisians, both young and old. While it may look as feminine as a flower, don’t be fooled; its heavy dose of Vermouth certainly packs a punch, and one too many of these pink potions and you’ll be drooping over.
Here’s how to prepare it.
Strain measured ingredients into a short glass over ice. Garnish with blackberries, a sprig of rosemary et voilà!
The name speaks for itself: you’ll be in no state to get behind the wheel after a few sips of this stuff, that’s for sure! There is some dispute over its creation—with no other than The Ritz Hotel, Paris taking claim for this age-old classic—created way back when sidecars were actually a thing. Wherever it originated from, boy are we glad it came into existence!
Shake up Cognac, Cointreau and Lemon Juice in a shaker filled with ice. Wet rim of tall glass and dip in sugar to coat. Strain Cocktail into glass, top with lemon twist, et voilà!
If you’re lucky enough to actually be in Paris, you should hit up Le Forum, one of Paris’ most historic cocktail bars. At 85 years old, it’s as much of a museum as it is bar; what better excuse is there to drink than that? Devised in the Roaring Twenties, it’s a Parisian twist on the classic Gin Martini. It was popular then, and remains so, now. It’s featured on their menu, even today.
Stir ingredients in a large glass filled with ice and strain over frozen Martini Glass.
Paris is scandalously sexy, and a few sips on a French Martini is sure to get you feeling that way, too. A sumptuous purple colour issuing from the famous Chambord, it gives a nod to its heritage—it’s Louis XIV himself who is said to be the first to have sampled the liqueur.
It’s an elegant love potion made in the City of Love itself. And well, if it was good enough for The King, surely it’s great for anyone, don’t you think?
Add Ingredients to a mixer filled with ice, shake, then strain over a Martini glass. Garnish with raspberries to serve, et voilà!
A cocktail with its own cheer; you’ll shout its name upon tasting! This noisy number hails from one of the most glamorous hotels in the world: The Ritz, Paris. A refreshing, fruity concoction with added bubbles, it’s elegant and sophisticated—just like the place itself. If getting hold of one of the Ritz’ world class cocktail recipes isn’t a reason to shout, I don’t know what is! Serendipiti!
Add Apple brandy and mint to a tall tumbler, mashing the two to mix and bruise leaves. Fill with ice, then pour over apple juice. Top to brim with Champagne, garnish with mint et voilà!
Make way, Hemingway! Here comes the new, hipster, gin-drinking Parisian: a Bobo. The Parisian hipsters already have a drink named after them and you can get your hand on one of these at equally edgy bar, Jefrey’s, in the 2ème arrondissement of Paris.
If the City of Lights doesn’t happen to be right at your doorstep, don’t fret; with this bitter beverage, you can recreate a piece of Paris chez toi. No, it’s not the easiest of drinks to make, but becoming Parisian–and a hipster one at that—doesn’t happen overnight!
Shake everything up in an iced cocktail shaker. Pour into an over-sized tea-cup, top with floating star anise to serve et voilà!
If you’re a free thinker that disregards social norms, this cocktail is for you—or so says it’s creator, Jen Riley of Le Red House in Paris. With a reputation for fun over fancy, the Dive Bar’s eclectic range of inventive and intriguing drinks have made it a favourite among hipsters and bartender professionals alike. Get in on the action:
Add ingredients to shaker filled with ice and shake to combine. Double strain, then shake again without ice. Pour into Champagne flute, top with Ruby Port et voilà!
While the idea of Caper Juice in a cocktail might put you off, knowing it was thought up by Rob McHardy of the World Famous Parisian NightClub, Silencio, should help reassure you. David Lynch’s Paris Club is known for being one of the most exclusive in the city, and its cocktails are just as divine.
Can’t be bothered to queue ? Turn your pad into a Parisian party and shake up this quirky take on a classic Margarita for extra cool points.
Shake vigorously is a mixer, double strain and pour into a chilled Martini Glass. Garnish with Lime Zest to serve et voilà!
Pushing Parisian boundaries in both taste and name, this Cocktail comes from one of the most popular bars in Paris, The Experimental Cocktail Club. ‘Le Maudit Français’ translates as ‘Bloody French’, and can be both a compliment or an insult, depending on your mood. So whether you love them or hate them, this cocktail is the one for you!
Add all ingredients except Champagne, Bitters & Orange into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, pour into a Champagne flute and top with Bitters. Top with orange zest to serve et voilà!
Forget the Arc de Triomphe; Harry’s New York Bar, Paris, offers just as much culture, dating back to 1911. Also the birthplace of the Bloody Mary, the French 75 is a light, refreshing and sophisticated cocktail that suits its Parisian surroundings perfectly.
Simple to make with added bubbles, sit back with one of these in hand, close your eyes, and think of Paris. Ahh, la vie est belle!
Add gin, champagne & syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shaking vigorously, to combine. Strain into an iced champagne flute. Top with champagne, garnish with lemon twist et voilà!
Grab your shaker, grab your friends, and get mixing; there’s never a bad time for a famous Parisian Cocktail!
Which one is your favourite? Which one are you planning to enjoy with friends? Leave your comments below!
Enjoy the best restaurants Paris has to offer with your copy of Paris for Foodies. It’s the ULTIMATE guide to eating in Paris!
Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Twitter and Google +
10 Classic French Breads You’ll Find in Boulangeries Across France
10 French Filler Words to Help You Sound Like a Native
120 Common French Adverbs to Make Your French Sound More Interesting
10 Must-try French Wines for less than 10 Euros