The Greenpoint Cocktail

A simple cocktail, riffing off the Brooklyn cocktail, as well as its other-borough cousins, the Bronx and the Manhattan, the Greenpoint boasts a double-dose of French inspiration and influences.
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A simple cocktail, riffing off the Brooklyn cocktail, as well as its other-borough cousins, the Bronx and the Manhattan, the Greenpoint boasts a double-dose of French inspiration and influences.

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Swampwater

Note: Join me today on my IG Apéro Hour at 6pm CET, Noon ET, and 9am PT while I mix up this Swampwater cocktail. To watch, go to my Instagram profile at that time and click on my profile picture when there is a red circle around it, which means I am live. You can also watch it in replay on my IGTV channel. More…

Note: Join me today on my IG Apéro Hour at 6pm CET, Noon ET, and 9am PT while I mix up this Swampwater cocktail. To watch, go to my Instagram profile at that time and click on my profile picture when there is a red circle around it, which means I am live. You can also watch it in replay on my IGTV channel. More information about how to tune in and watch live, as well as in replay, here.

Some of the most fun I had writing Drinking French was looking at vintage ads for French spirits and apéritifs. I went down a lot of rabbit holes as one led me to another, then another, and then another. On particularly creative ad was for Suze, which showed a gentian root (the primary ingredient in the apéritif) playing the bottle opener like a guitar. Whatever mind came up with that one was brilliant.

When I had Tim Master on my IG Live, talking about Chartreuse, one drink he mentioned making was the Swampwater. I was a little young when some of the following ads came out, but I vaguely remember the name, Swampwater.

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May Daisy cocktail

Note: I’ll be making this May Daisy cocktail today on my IG Live Apéro Hour. Join me at 6pm CET, Noon ET, and 9am PT. Go to my Instagram profile at that time and click on my profile picture when there is a red circle around it, which means I am live. You can also watch it in replay on my IGTV channel. More information…

Note: I’ll be making this May Daisy cocktail today on my IG Live Apéro Hour. Join me at 6pm CET, Noon ET, and 9am PT. Go to my Instagram profile at that time and click on my profile picture when there is a red circle around it, which means I am live. You can also watch it in replay on my IGTV channel. More information about how to tune in, and watch live, as well as in replay, here.

And before we know it, it’s May. After this lockdown is over, which is planned to unfold in France on Monday, I realize I’m going to have to go back and rewrite all the posts I wrote during the last few months as in the future, people will read them and wonder what the heck I am talking about when I say “lockdown,” “confinement,” and “shelter in place.”

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Drinking French Bar Box

I was delighted that so many people were interested in setting up a French bar in advance of the publication of Drinking French and have been asked what liquors and spirits to get. So I’ve teamed up with Slope Cellars wine and spirits shop in New York City to release a Drinking French Bar Box. The Drinking French Bar Box includes a bottle of Old…

I was delighted that so many people were interested in setting up a French bar in advance of the publication of Drinking French and have been asked what liquors and spirits to get. So I’ve teamed up with Slope Cellars wine and spirits shop in New York City to release a Drinking French Bar Box.

The Drinking French Bar Box includes a bottle of Old Forester Bottled in Bond Rye, Forthave Red Apéritif Bitters (Aperitivo), Citadelle gin, and a demi-bottle of Dolin sweet vermouth, as well as a copy of Drinking French. With those bottles, you’ll be able to make several drinks in the book, including my favorite cocktail, the Boulevardier and the Americano, a low ABV apéritif that’s perfect for easy-going spring and summer sipping. You may want to augment your Bar Box with any of the spirits listed here to increase the number of drinks you can make. (Some specific suggestions would be Salers, Dolin dry vermouth, Byrrh Grand Quinquina, calvados, Lillet, and/or Chartreuse. The shop also carries a very good selection of French wines.)

The Old Forester bottled in bond rye is a revival of a historic recipe and is higher proof than standard rye whiskey, so it shines more brightly when mixed in a cocktail. Citadelle gin was the first gin produced in France and is family-owned, flavored with juniper collected from gardens around the family home. Forthave Spirits is a micro-distillery in New York City that produces an especially excellent apertivo (red bitter apéritif, similar to Campari) with a strong botanical profile. It’s great in a cocktail, or on its own with a splash of sparkling water and a twist. Dolin French vermouth is another family-owned distillery, operating since the 1820s in the French alps, and made with local herbs, flowers, and roots.

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Bijou Cocktail

This cocktail gets its name from the three main ingredients, and their relationship to bijoux, or jewels or gems. The clear gin is like a diamond, the red vermouth is like a ruby, and the green from the Chartreuse is the emerald. The original recipe called for those ingredients to be used in three equal parts but cocktail expert and bartender Dale DeGroff, who resurrected…

This cocktail gets its name from the three main ingredients, and their relationship to bijoux, or jewels or gems. The clear gin is like a diamond, the red vermouth is like a ruby, and the green from the Chartreuse is the emerald. The original recipe called for those ingredients to be used in three equal parts but cocktail expert and bartender Dale DeGroff, who resurrected the cocktail, refashioned the quantities. I actually prefect a touch more red vermouth than he does so I up that to 1 ounce, but you can leave it as is.

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What to Buy When Starting a French Bar at Home

Weeks before Drinking French came out, people were asking me what liquors and spirits to buy in anticipation of the book’s release. Skimming through the 160 recipes in the book, many of which are for cocktails and apéritifs, I offered up tips here and there, suggesting a few essential bottles that could be used for a number of recipes in the book. I also added…

Weeks before Drinking French came out, people were asking me what liquors and spirits to buy in anticipation of the book’s release. Skimming through the 160 recipes in the book, many of which are for cocktails and apéritifs, I offered up tips here and there, suggesting a few essential bottles that could be used for a number of recipes in the book. I also added a few extras (at the end of this post) to those suggestions, that aren’t vital to have, but are some of my favorites in case they wanted to branch out a little into some other French drinks, and spirits.

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The Alaska Cocktail

[Note: If you’re interested in learning more about Chartreuse, tune into my Instagram Live today, April 24th, at 6pm CET, Noon ET, 9am PT. I’ll be joined my Charteuse expert Tim Master and he’ll be answering questions and making this cocktail. Because of the split-screen format, this Live session can’t be archived for replay – so tune in live (here’s how) to watch!] While green…

[Note: If you’re interested in learning more about Chartreuse, tune into my Instagram Live today, April 24th, at 6pm CET, Noon ET, 9am PT. I’ll be joined my Charteuse expert Tim Master and he’ll be answering questions and making this cocktail. Because of the split-screen format, this Live session can’t be archived for replay – so tune in live (here’s how) to watch!]

While green Chartreuse has been around for nearly four hundred years, Yellow Chartreuse is a relative newcomer, introduced in 1840. While it’s lower in alcohol than green Chartreuse, it too comes by its color naturally. It’s a touch sweeter and milder in taste than green Chartreuse, so it works well in cocktails where a little sweetness would be called for. Rumor has it the yellow color is because saffron is added, as is honey, but no one will reveal or confirm any of the ingredients in Chartreuse. Where Chartreuse jaune shines brightly in the Alaska cocktail, this bracing mix of gin, orange bitters, and yellow Chartreuse.

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Jumpin’ Genepy Cocktail

I’m always on the lookout for a cocktail that has an herbaceous quality, a touch of bitterness, and some fruity undertones courtesy of a dose of Cap Corse or Lillet, two French apéritifs that feature citrus flavors. And this Jumpin’ Genepy…

I’m always on the lookout for a cocktail that has an herbaceous quality, a touch of bitterness, and some fruity undertones courtesy of a dose of Cap Corse or Lillet, two French apéritifs that feature citrus flavors. And this Jumpin’ Genepy cocktail fits that bill.

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The Making of Drinking French

A few years ago, after My Paris Kitchen came out, I began thinking about what I’d write about next. Whenever you have a book come out, the most common question is, “What’s your next book?” Sometimes you already have an idea, but other times, it’s nice to sit back and enjoy what you’ve written. I was happy that people took to that book so much,…

A few years ago, after My Paris Kitchen came out, I began thinking about what I’d write about next. Whenever you have a book come out, the most common question is, “What’s your next book?” Sometimes you already have an idea, but other times, it’s nice to sit back and enjoy what you’ve written. I was happy that people took to that book so much, and after a respite, I started thinking about what to write about next.

Because I was asked about it so much, I decided that telling the story of my apartment renovation would make an interesting book, which turned out to be true, knowing that people would be surprised at what a comedy of errors it turned out to be.

But another subject I found myself becoming more and more interested in was the culture and traditions of French drinkings, and the drinks themselves. I submitted both proposals at once, nearly six years ago, in a two-book arrangement with my publisher, deciding to tackle the renovation story first while it was still fresh in my mind and take on French drinks when I was done. That ended up being a good thing…because I needed a drink after reliving L’Appart…and from what many of you have told me after reading it, so did you!

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