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Strawberry Spritz

Recently I started reaching for my bottle of Vermouth Blanc more and more. I had opened it to make an El Presidente cocktail, but during an interview on my IG Live channel with Pierre-Olivier Rousseaux, owner of Dolin distillery in France, he remarked that their Chambéryzette apéritif, made in the French alps, could be made at home, anywhere, with fresh strawberries and white vermouth. So…

Recently I started reaching for my bottle of Vermouth Blanc more and more. I had opened it to make an El Presidente cocktail, but during an interview on my IG Live channel with Pierre-Olivier Rousseaux, owner of Dolin distillery in France, he remarked that their Chambéryzette apéritif, made in the French alps, could be made at home, anywhere, with fresh strawberries and white vermouth. So I took the plunge and made a batch myself.

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Gentian Fizz

Gentian is a root unearthed in volcanic soil in France. Its bittersweet flavor is very popular in France, sold as liqueurs and apéritifs; Suze, Salers, and Avèze are the most well-known. If you’re in France, Distillerie de Grandmont makes an excellent artisan gentian liqueur that I like very much, but isn’t widely available. (Google it to track a bottle down from online sellers.) Also in…

Gentian is a root unearthed in volcanic soil in France. Its bittersweet flavor is very popular in France, sold as liqueurs and apéritifs; Suze, Salers, and Avèze are the most well-known. If you’re in France, Distillerie de Grandmont makes an excellent artisan gentian liqueur that I like very much, but isn’t widely available. (Google it to track a bottle down from online sellers.) Also in France is Ziane, a non-alcoholic gentian apéritif, and another one made by Couderc distillery, whose website I can’t figure out how to navigate. Both would work if you’d like to make this a mocktail.

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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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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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Homemade Orange Bitters

Bitters are used in a number of cocktails. Even if you can’t strongly perceive them while you’re sipping your drink, like salt, lemon zest, and vanilla, bitters are used to balance the flavors in the glass, providing a gentle undernote to bolster or as a contrast to flavors, rather than domineering or taking center stage. When writing Drinking French* I kept in mind that most…

Bitters are used in a number of cocktails. Even if you can’t strongly perceive them while you’re sipping your drink, like salt, lemon zest, and vanilla, bitters are used to balance the flavors in the glass, providing a gentle undernote to bolster or as a contrast to flavors, rather than domineering or taking center stage.

When writing Drinking French* I kept in mind that most people either didn’t have access to a wide variety of bitters, or didn’t want to amass a line-up of little bottles of bitters at home just to make one cocktail. Although sometimes, a certain bitter does make a difference. So a few times, I nudged readers who might want to expand their flavor horizons towards a particular bitter, such as eucalyptus or salted chocolate. But in the overall picture, I like to give choices when writing a recipe in a book, so as many people ca make it as possible.

My fallback bitters are orange and aromatic (Angostura) because I wanted to make sure to use ones that people could easily find. Heck, I’ve even seen Angostura being sold in French supermarkets, as well as at Target stores in the U.S. So there’s really not that much of a barrier to getting your hands on a bottle.

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