France, particularly Paris, are known for their wines, but their drinks offer is much more extensive and fascinating.
The City of Light has some of the most famous bars in the world where they prepare exquisite cocktails, from the old classics to new creations.
Let’s get to know this top 10 with the best French cocktails.
1. Black Rose
Avant-garde drink whose origin is the art deco era that despite time remains one of the favorite cocktails in Paris. Although it may seem like a drink aimed primarily at the female audience, its strong dose of vermouth packs a punch.
- 2 ounces of French vermouth.
- 1 ounce of Blackberry cordial.
- Blackberries and rosemary to decorate.
- 1 teaspoon of blackberry syrup.
Put ice in a short glass and strain the previously measured ingredients. Garnish with fresh blackberries and a sprig of rosemary.
A classic among French cocktails whose main ingredients are cognac and cointreau.
It is believed that the cocktail was created in 1931 in the legendary Harry’s Bar in Paris, by Harry MacElhone, also the inventor of the well-known Bloody Mary.
- 1 and ½ ounces of cognac.
- 1 ounce of cointreau.
- Lemon slice to decorate.
- Sugar to cover the rim of the glass (optional).
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Fill the shaker with ice, add the cognac, cointreau and lemon juice and shake. Moisten the top rim of a tall glass and dip it in sugar for a small layer to adhere (optional). Strain the cocktail into the glass and decorate with the lemon wedge.
3. Gin Martini
One of the best Parisian bars to drink the Gin Martini, a classic of the capital and the world, is Le Forum (1931), on Boulevard Malesherbes 75008, where they also prepare the Manhattan and other historic cocktails in the bars of many countries.
- 1 and ½ ounces of gin.
- 4-5 drops of Grand Marnier.
- An olive or a slice of lemon to decorate.
- 2 teaspoons of dry vermouth, preferably the French Noilly Prat.
Fill the shaker with ice cubes and add the gin, vermouth, Grand Marnier and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Decorate with the olive or lemon slice.
4. French Martini
It is one of the homemade drinks from France that Chambord fans prepare to enjoy a variant with this liqueur made with raspberries and cognac.
The Chambord also has honey and vanilla. It is so special that it was praised by King Louis IV when he first drank it in 1685 at Chambord Castle.
The French Martini is an elegant purple color that gives it a sweet touch, harmonizing with the vodka flavored with the same raspberry liqueur and the bittersweet pineapple juice.
- 2 ounces of pineapple juice.
- ½ ounce of Chambord liqueur.
- Fresh raspberries to decorate.
- 1 and ½ ounces of Chambord flavored vodka.
Place the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with raspberries.
Serendipity became one of the public’s favorite French cocktails. Like many others in France, it carries 2 symbolic drinks of the country, in this case, Calvados and Champagne. In this recipe, the liquid ingredients must be very cold.
- ½ cup of champagne.
- 2 ounces of calvados.
- 2 ounces of apple juice.
- Some fresh mint leaves.
Place the mint leaves in the bottom of a tall glass. Pour in the Calvados and the Champagne, stir slightly so that the aroma and flavor of the mint permeates the mixture, and add the apple juice.
The Libertine cocktail was created by Jen Riley at Le Red House bar in Paris, featuring an eclectic mix of drinks and enviable inventiveness.
Le Red House became popular among young, middle-class Parisian bohemians. Their prices are reasonable.
- 1 ounce of vodka.
- ½ ounce of Ruby Port wine.
- ½ ounce of egg white.
- 2 teaspoons of Campari.
- 2 teaspoons of simple syrup.
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
- 1 teaspoon of grapefruit juice.
- 1 tablespoon of rhubarb and ginger jam.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice cubes, add the ingredients and shake. Strain twice and shake again. Pour into a flute glass of champagne to drink.
7. Dirty Margarita
The “Dirty Margarita” cocktail is a meeting of Mexico with France through tequila and cointreau. It was invented by Rob McHardy in the famous Parisian night club Silencio, a luxurious nightclub owned by the film director and versatile artist, David Lynch.
- 10 cc of cointreau.
- 4 cc of agave syrup.
- Lime peel to grate.
- 50 cc of Eight White tequila.
- 3.5 cc of salty caper juice.
- 20 cc of freshly squeezed lime juice.
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker (except the lime peel) and shake vigorously. Strain twice and serve to drink very cold in a Martini glass. Decorate with lime zest.
8. Parisian Bobo
Bobo is a French acronym from “bourgeois-bohème” (bourgeois-bohemian), which is why the cocktail is called Parisian bohemian bourgeois.
It’s one of many French cocktails created in Paris, specifically at Jefrey’s bar, an English-style establishment with purple velvet-upholstered Chesterfield sofas and retro furnishings, at 14 rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002.
- A white of an egg.
- A touch of club soda.
- ½ ounce of Rey L’avion D’or.
- 1 and ¾ ounces of gin.
- Star anise to decorate.
- A dash of rhubarb bitters.
- ½ ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur.
Place ingredients, except star anise, in a chilled cocktail shaker and shake. Pour into a large teacup and top with star anise as a floating garnish.
9. Le Maudit Français
Le Maudit Francais (The Cursed Frenchman) is a French expression that can be both an insult and a compliment. As a cocktail, it is a delight that is prepared at its highest level at the popular Experimental Cocktail Club bar, at 37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002.
- Orange peel.
- 3 measures of champagne.
- 1 measure of Oloroso sherry.
- 1 measure of maple syrup.
- 1 measure of freshly squeezed orange juice.
- A pinch of orange bitter.
- 3 measures of brandy Darroze Armagnac (8 years).
Fill cocktail shaker with ice, add ingredients except champagne and orange peel, and shake vigorously.
Pour into a champagne flute, add the champagne and top with grated orange peel.
Light and refreshing cocktail invented in the 1910s that took its name from the French 75, an artillery piece developed in France at the end of the 19th century, the main one of its army during the First World War.
The original French 75 cocktail had calvados, but in the famous Harry’s New York Bar in Paris they replaced the cider brandy with champagne and thus went down in cocktail history.
- 1 ounce of gin.
- ½ ounce of lemon juice.
- A dash of simple syrup.
- Lemon slice to decorate.
- 2 ounces of champagne, plus a touch for topping.
Fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes, add champagne, gin, lemon juice and syrup and shake vigorously.
Strain into a chilled champagne flute, top with a splash of champagne and garnish with the lemon wedge.
French cocktails: additional information
Beverages from the north of France: Calvados is a popular French brandy produced in the Calvados Department of the Normandy region in the north of the French republic.
It is distilled primarily from apple cider and is a component of many French cocktails.
Perry (poiré or pear cider) is also typical of northern France and is added to some Calvados.
French cocktails additional recipes: the kir is a French cocktail that is taken as an aperitif prepared with blackcurrant liqueur (crème de cassis) and white wine.
The kir royal is a variant in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.
Pineau des Charentes is a liqueur produced by mixing grape must and cognac brandy. It is mainly made in the Charente area and is drunk as an aperitif.
We invite you to share this article so that your friends on social networks also know the best 10 French cocktails.
- Read our guide on France customs, traditions, etiquette and culture
- We leave you our definitive guide to the 12 airports in France
- Learn with our guide what are the holidays and traditional days in France