Note: I’ll be making this ginger lemonade 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. More info, as well as how to watch it in replay in my IGTV channel archives, is here.

I once got into a Scrabble tiff when I was challenged for using the word “ade.” I’ve played Scrabble in English, and in French, and I’ve determined that it’s impossible to win if facing off against French players due to the astounding selection of verb conjugations they have at their disposal. (Except for this French Scrabble champion who doesn’t even speak French, but won by memorizing words in the French dictionary. Wow.)

Fortunately, I don’t have a competitive streak, although I did dig my heels over the word ade when I was playing Scrabble with some fellow anglophones one time, who refused to concede that ade was an actual word. There was a dictionary on hand in the summer house we were staying at, which confirmed that ade is, indeed, a drink made with fruit.

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France has been creeping (or bursting, in some cases) out of lockdown. As of May 11th, people can come and go without carrying a written permission slip. The outdoor markets, hairdressers, and other types of shops have reopened, under the advisement of the health ministry, who is encouraging people to wear masks and practice social distancing, keeping 1 meter (3-feet) apart from others. Some stores…

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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…

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I used to be one of those that was surprised when people said, “I don’t have time to cook.” To me, cooking and shopping for ingredients, which take the better parts of my days, has always been a pleasure for me rather than a burden. However, now I get it. Making dinner after a long day at work can be a challenge. In France, people…

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The clever cocktail, seemingly another riff on the Negroni (like The Tunnel), is named after French fencing champion Lucien Gaudin, who won gold and silver medals in the Olympics during the 1920s. Other than that, I’ve never found any other information about it; who came up with it or why the cocktail is associated with a French fencer.

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While doing research for Drinking French, I was on the prowl to find a substitute for Amer Picon, the classic apéritif from France that’s not available in the U.S. While I found some alternatives that were available in America (which I listed in the book) my very favorite was Sepia Amer, made by Audemus Spirits in France. (h/t to Josh of Paris Wine Company for…

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You don’t need much, or any, fancy equipment or tools to make any of the cocktails in my book Drinking French, or any other drinks and cocktails. Below I’ve also listed what can easily fill in if you don’t have a proper cocktail shaker or mixing glass, using items you probably already have at home, although I’ll admit that having a few “tools of the…

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I usually keep a few canned things on hand. Sardines, tuna, and tomatoes, are constants you’ll find in my cupboards. I also have oddities that I’m not sure what I’ll use them for, but keep them around anyways, like smoked sugar, butterscotch chips, coffee-flavored salt, Vietnamese coconut syrup, and a kit someone gave me for making queso blanco which does, indeed, work. I’ve discovered the…

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During the lockdown, I found myself with all sorts of things that needed to get used up sooner than I expected. I would buy too many lemons, thinking I’d need them. Then realize I had too many and make lemon curd. The grocery shopping delivery service that I use inexplicably had jalapeño peppers on their website (and a few times, padrón peppers!) and I couldn’t…

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