Coup de Roulis cocktail

This rosy coup holds a drink from Cocktails de Paris, a book of cocktail recipes from Paris, published in 1929. (It’s available to download* for free here.) I was attracted to it because it called for Cherry Rocher, a French liqueur produced by a distillery that was founded in 1704 and is still making it today. Coup de roulis translates to “strong blow,” referring to…

This rosy coup holds a drink from Cocktails de Paris, a book of cocktail recipes from Paris, published in 1929. (It’s available to download* for free here.) I was attracted to it because it called for Cherry Rocher, a French liqueur produced by a distillery that was founded in 1704 and is still making it today. Coup de roulis translates to “strong blow,” referring to the strong sway or roll of a boat. My guess is that maybe it got its name because it has four different spirits in it? No matter, I needed a strong drink last week when my apartment sprung a fuite d’eau, causing a flood.

The Paris cocktail book is an excursion back in time, as was the leak, harkening back to other, um…issues I’ve had with my apartment. In the pages, there are words used, such as Angustura (with an alternative spelling that may be from days of yore) and ‘focking,’ a term I’d never heard of either, and when I searched Google for “cocktail focking,” let’s just say most of the search results were adult-only…and I don’t mean in the cocktail department.

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Negroni Sbagliato Spritz

[NOTE: Learn more about making this apéritif with Brad Thomas Parsons, award-winning author of Bitters, Amaro, and Last Call, on my IG Live Apéro Hour today at 6pm CET (Noon ET, 9am PT) Tune in and join us!] I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better way to relax in the warm weather, than with a refreshing Spritz. I was introduced…

Negroni Sbagliato spritz cocktail

[NOTE: Learn more about making this apéritif with Brad Thomas Parsons, award-winning author of Bitters, Amaro, and Last Call, on my IG Live Apéro Hour today at 6pm CET (Noon ET, 9am PT) Tune in and join us!]

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better way to relax in the warm weather, than with a refreshing Spritz. I was introduced to the Spritz when I went to coffee school in 2007, in Trieste, Italy. I drank at least six cups of espresso every day – how could I not? – surprising even the Italian teachers. And by the end of the day, I needed to wind down.

Negroni Sbagliato spritz cocktail

So after class, I’d go to a local caffè in the early evening where I noticed everyone drinking colorful drinks in large, wide goblets filled with handfuls of ice. Since icy beverages are often hard to come by in some countries in Europe, it was surprising to see people drinking cold drinks loaded up with ice. And I wanted one.

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Bourbon Peach Cooler

Depending on your point of view, I’m either the best or the worst person when it comes to shopping for fruit at the outdoor market in the summer. I tend to buy way, way too many fruits; since they ripen at different rates, I want to have my pick of the crop when I feel like eating a peach or nectarine. On the other hand,…

Depending on your point of view, I’m either the best or the worst person when it comes to shopping for fruit at the outdoor market in the summer. I tend to buy way, way too many fruits; since they ripen at different rates, I want to have my pick of the crop when I feel like eating a peach or nectarine. On the other hand, I find myself with way too much fruit on my hands at any given time and in between coddling the fruits through their different stages of ripeness, to refrigerating any overload that I can’t use right away, it seems like my entire summer is all about managing fruit. (When, to be honest, I could use some beach time.)

This week I bought way too many peaches. For some reason, they didn’t just ripen all at once, but they all went from unripe to almost overripe, within a day. I’ve been thinking about a bourbon and peach-based cocktail for a while and had been eyeing my bottle of Bonal, figuring the earthiness of the French apéritif would pair nicely with all-American whiskey in a fruity, refreshing summer drink, and knew I got it right when I took my first sip of this Peach Bourbon Cooler, which really hit the spot.

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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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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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El Presidente cocktail

Note: I’ll be making this cocktail today at 6pm CET (Noon ET, 9am PT) on my IG Live Apéro Hour on Instagram. To watch, head to my profile on my IG profile page at that time, and when the circle around my profile pic says “Live” – click on it to tune in. And on Tuesday, May 26th, my guest will be Pierre-Olivier Rousseaux, owner…

Note: I’ll be making this cocktail today at 6pm CET (Noon ET, 9am PT) on my IG Live Apéro Hour on Instagram. To watch, head to my profile on my IG profile page at that time, and when the circle around my profile pic says “Live” – click on it to tune in. And on Tuesday, May 26th, my guest will be Pierre-Olivier Rousseaux, owner of Dolin vermouth, who will explain how vermouth is made, how to use and store it, and answer your other questions. More info, as well as how to watch it in replay in my IGTV channel archives, is here.

People sometimes pick up vermouth blanc, called bianco vermouth in Italian, and don’t realize until the open the bottle that the vermouth is sweet, when they thought they were buying dry vermouth. Don’t worry if it happened to you; it happened to a friend one mine too, who happens to be a notable spirits writer. On the upside, you’ve now got one of the principal ingredients for one of my new favorite cocktails, the El Presidente.

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The Tunnel Cocktail (from Cravan, Paris)

Note: Join me and Franck as he mixes up this Tunnel cocktail today on my IG Apéro Hour, live from…Cravan! Join us 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 we are live. You can also watch us in replay on…

Note: Join me and Franck as he mixes up this Tunnel cocktail today on my IG Apéro Hour, live from…Cravan! Join us 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 we are live. You can also watch us in replay on my IGTV channel. More information about how to tune in, and watch live, as well as in replay, here.

One of my favorite spots in Paris is Cravan. It’s not right in the middle of town, nor is it in the popular St. Germain area, or the trendy 10th or 11th arrondissements. But a few métro stops is all it takes to find yourself at one of the loveliest little outposts in the city.

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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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The Algonquin cocktail

When I rediscovered cocktails a while back, rye whiskey was the spirit that reeled me in. I loved its spicy, smoky notes and each one I tried was different than the others. Here, in the Algonquin cocktail, the rye is mixed with fruity pineapple juice, which gives it a suggestion of the tropics, but the whiskey brings it back to the “serious” category. But not…

When I rediscovered cocktails a while back, rye whiskey was the spirit that reeled me in. I loved its spicy, smoky notes and each one I tried was different than the others. Here, in the Algonquin cocktail, the rye is mixed with fruity pineapple juice, which gives it a suggestion of the tropics, but the whiskey brings it back to the “serious” category. But not too much.

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Bronx Cocktail

Not as famous as its “other borough” cousin, the Manhattan, the Bronx is a fruitier, lighter alternative to the rough-and-tumbler whiskey-based cocktail. However one sip and you may find yourself visiting the Bronx a little more often!
Con…

Not as famous as its “other borough” cousin, the Manhattan, the Bronx is a fruitier, lighter alternative to the rough-and-tumbler whiskey-based cocktail. However one sip and you may find yourself visiting the Bronx a little more often!

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