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Drinking French

I’m excited to announce that Drinking French: The iconic cocktails, apéritifs, and café traditions in France, with 160 recipes is out!

My latest book features recipes for the iconic beverages of France, from café specialties hot chocolate, tisanes and infusions, and chilled chocolate frappés, to classic French apéritifs, recipes to make liqueurs, crèmes, wines, punches and cordials at home, as well as French-themed cocktails from my favorite bars in Paris. To make sure you and your guests are properly fed, there’s a whole chapter of Snacks for apéro hour, such as a Terrine facile (an easy-to-make, meaty terrine), savory Cornmeal-Bacon Madeleines, bite-size Mushroom-Roquefort Tartlets, a recipe for Duck Rillettes as well as another for Chicken Rillettes (spread), one being quite rich, and the other for those who want to eat a little lighter. Or those who can’t get duck. (Writing the book, I thought of everything…and everyone.) And there’s a Kale Crespèu, a specialty of Provence which is perfect for summer with glasses of chilled rosé.

Drinking French starts out as a typical French morning does; at a café with a small shot of coffee or a more leisurely wake-up at home with a steaming bowl of Café au lait. Later in the day, people enjoy other café favorites, such as Citron pressé, Lemonade, Fresh Mint Tea, and if it’s the summer, to beat the heat, nothing beats a chilled Chocolate Frappé. For those needing a little more of a boost, there’s a Coffee Frappé, as well as one that uses one of the most popular liqueurs in France (which, interestingly, isn’t French), in case you want something cool and spirited. But there are dozens of recipes that don’t have any alcohol, making Drinking French enjoyable to all.

Chocolate Frappe recipe

Not only are my favorite French apéritifs and spirits profiled in the book, but I featured favorite people who make and use them. One is Chef Romain Meder, the Michelin-starred chef at the Plaza-Athenée restaurant who keeps a special closet in the back of his kitchen with shelves lined with homemade infusions, kefirs, fermentations, and wines. Many are influenced by his upbringing and childhood in the Auvergne, where he learned to use what nature offered. Some of Paris’ most innovative cocktails are mixed up at hotspots in the Marais, and I couldn’t do a book about drinking French with introducing you to the man behind the Federation of French Apéritifs, which has outposts where you can wine and dine with friends in Paris, and beyond.

There are stories about the woman that wowed me with her Spiced Hot Chocolate (recipe on page 16), and another, Margot Lecarpentier, who shakes up some of the best cocktails in Paris. You’ll meet Camille Fourmant, who somehow manages to keep everyone’s glasses full, and their stomachs happy in her minuscule wine bar, and Michaela, the coffee-roaster at Paris’ most notable coffee company.

(Note: I have never seen anyone shake a cocktail like Margot. If anyone was going to be represented in Drinking French alongside the instructions of how to do it, it had to be her. Although I wasn’t able to replicate her speed, nor her skill, at home.)

Paris cocktail-lovers will recognize Stan Jouenne, who created a bar in Paris with only Made-in-France liqueurs and spirits. There’s Carlos Madriz, who, in one glass, made me fall in love with cocktails (and cocktail bars) all over again. Julia Grossman gave me a taste of Normandy in New York. And Franck Audoux whose three-ingredient cocktail may be my second favorite in the book. (The first is the recipe that kicks off the cocktail chapter, page 179, although I’ve recently been taken by the French Manhattan on page 180, too.)

While cocktails are well-represented in the book, there’s a whole chapter on low ABV apéritifs, like the one above (served with Seeded Cheese Crisps, page 249), as well as drinks that’ll help you use the homemade liqueurs in the Infusions chapter. Whew…what isn’t in the book? I think I covered all the bases, and then some…

Advance praise for the book came from bartender and author Jeffrey Morgenthaler who lauded the “deft precision” of Drinking French. (He also assisted me with a few of the recipes.) Jim Meehan, bartender and author of Meehan’s Bartender Manual called Drinking French “…the modern French handbook for cocktail party hosts.” And Deb Perelman swooned, calling Drinking French a “dreamy book to hold us over…until you can make it to France.”

French food writer and host François-Régis Gaudry said, “No cup or glass is spared from the curious and amused gaze of David Lebovitz. As an acute connoisseur of French gastronomy, his tasty collection of recipes and social observations can be imbibed in one shot.” And award-winning spirits writer Brad Thomas Parsons noted the “Keen understanding of ratios, formulas, and balancing flavors to inventive recipes for café drinks, liqueurs, apéritifs, cocktails, and irresistible apéro snacks to accompany them.”

As for you, please post your creations online with the hashtag #drinkingfrench so I can see and comment on them. And if you’re enjoying the book, feel free to leave a positive review on Amazon to help get the word out, and to make me happy : )

I truly hope you all enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. You can pick up a copy at your local independent bookseller, including Book Larder, White Whale, Kitchen Arts and Letters, Omnivore, Powell’s, Now Serving, Strand, and RJ Julia, or purchase it online at Barnes & Noble (which is offering autographed copies), Amazon, Indie Bound, and Book Depository, which offers free international shipping.

[Photos from the book, used in this post, were taken by Ed Anderson with food styling by George Dolese.]

Note: For those who want to hear more, I’ve done several interviews and podcasts about Drinking French, which are listed in my latest newsletter. (No subscription required at that link.)



    • Cyndy

    Hi, David, will the book be available in French bookstores or from

    • Dennie

    David! I had pre-ordered the book and received it yesterday! I am loving it!! You have put together such an amazing collection of drinks! I did not see one drink that didn’t appeal to me. Love that you have a section for “Apero Snacks”! Very well presented book and the photography perfectly compliments the drinks! This will be my new “go to” resource for drinks! Thanks David!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thank you so much! I strove to keep the drinks as simple and accessible as possible, avoiding obscure or expensive spirits (although there are a few here and there, but the majority of things are easy to find), plus they had to be to my taste as well – so am glad we’re on the same page there!

    • Vala Jonsdottir

    Mine is arriving today! Just got the notification from Amazon … Woohooo!

    • Mary-James LAWRENCE

    My copy arrived yesterday . David, you have created a masterpiece . Spent the evening pouring over it and can’t wait to be pouring some of those special drinks. So many of the apéro snacks that I want to try. MERCI MERCI !

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’m very flattered – thanks! I mean, merci!

    • Joan

    Where can one buy your book in Toronto Canada?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t know where in Toronto where books are sold but there seems to be quite a few independent bookstores there so I’d go into one and see if they have it. If not, I’m sure they’d be happy to order a copy for you.

      • Kicki

      Chapters-Indigo is showing Drinking French available online and in stores!

    • Kristin

    I so wanted to get it on Amazon, so I could have it when it came out (but I am out of town anyway), but I am trying to buy my books from a local bookstore. I am waiting for another book to come out soon, and I will order both and trek down to get them. I can’t wait!! Congratulations!

    • ClaireD

    What I love most about your books, although the recipes are divine, is that they read like you’re catching up with a dear friend. This new book is no exception. The photos are beautiful and the commentary/accompanying stories both informative and entertaining. Welcome back, dear friend! So good to hear from you

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Am glad you’re finding the book enjoyable to read. And yes, Ed Anderson did a great job with the photos. We love working together. Well, I like working with him. I hope he feels the same (!)

    • A

    Congratulations! Once again it appears that you’ve done an enormous amount of work and composed a powerful, interesting read for your audience. Thank you for your commitment to your community.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thank you so much. It was quite a project (there’s a lot of information in there, and a lot of recipes) but it was great fun and I met the best people in France working on it. Happy you like it!

    • Nelo

    The good news, also available in the US Amazon site, and available in Kindle.

    • Jane Leamy

    Ordered mine in February from Amazon. Received notification that they will email me when they will be shipping. So disappointed.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Amazon had been notifying people there was a delay but many people have gotten their copies and my publisher circled to Amazon and they said the notifications are a mistake, books are shipping now. You might want to contact them to find out?

    • T7

    My copy arrived yesterday – covered in greasy fingerprints, smears and smudges?! Amazon has immediately sent me a replacement, but apparently you book was a big hit in the warehouse before it was sent out! :)

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      That’s strange…but funny! Sorry you got a “used” copy ; ) but glad they’re sending you a “clean” copy!

    • Shirley

    This is a simply gorgeous book David. Congratulations many times over. Pre ordered copy came yesterday and is truly beyond my expectations. It was promptly taken over by my husband who is already planning to make several unusual drinks and those marvelous Madeleines. Which was my intention all along of course. Sorry appears San Francisco Omnivore is cancelled?

    • Donna

    Are you having any more book signings in Paris?

    • Susan H.

    Mine just arrived! Can’t wait to read it. We love your recipes. Your spiced nut recipe is a staple at our house for the holidays.

    • Rebecca Scheer

    Another beautiful book! I preordered on Amazon & it arrived on time & in perfect condition. So happy to add this to my collection of your books, which all possess beautiful photography, interesting & amusing text, & (wait for it) recipes that can actually be successfully reproduced – quelle bonne idée! My husband & I will be in Paris for a month later this year, so we can’t wait to visit many of your suggested shops you so generously included in the back of the book. I’m off to make the liqueur des fraises! Merci pour cette livre!

    • Jean

    I hope my review on Amazon makes you . I preordered the book and I love it. I smile every time I open it!

      • Jean

      “Smile”the emoji did not post

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for your kinds words about Drinking French – and thanks for your support!

    • Rachele

    My preorder arrived yesterday from Amazon! I’m enjoying it with my coffee this morning. The book, the photos, all gorgeous! The writing and recipes, as expected, quintessentially Lebovitz: fun, informative, and I want to make everything RIGHT NOW!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      That’s great to hear – so glad you’re enjoying the book! : )

    • naomi d.

    Got mine yesterday! And it’s signed! WOOT! It was my late night reading in bed. Thank you.

    • Carol

    Loving the book! It is cold and windy where I live, and I sat by the fire today and enjoyed reading the recipes for Parisian hot chocolate and Armagnac marshmallows – those will be my project for tomorrow! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity.

    • Sam Gardiner

    Hello David – I’m sure your book has US measurements – please can you tell me if the book has metric measurements as well
    Thank you

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, the recipes in all my books, including Drinking French, are in U.S. and metric measurements – enjoy!

    • Blanca

    My copy arrived this week.
    The book is fantastic!
    The choice of recipes is great, the descriptions are easy to follow, and the pictures are wonderful.
    The addition of “Apero Snacks” is a nice addition to the drinks.
    We will test some recipes this weekend!!!!
    Another great book, David!!! Congratulations

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks Blanca!

    • John Donovan

    Mine arrived this week and I am very excited. My guy, who mostly pays no mind to my cooking and food related books, declared it a very handsome book as I took it out of the box. A true complement from a person who has made our house groan under the weight of hundreds of art books. I am looking forward to making the snacks while he makes the drinks.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      That’s great that he’s enjoying reading the book. And it’s great to have someone in-house make drinks for you – I was that person for 2 years while I worked on the book :)

    • Debi

    I pre-ordered two copies of your book via Amazon and they came last week. I am loving it and can’t wait to gift my friend with her copy.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks – and you’re a good friend. Hope she makes you a drink! ;)

    • Carol (NYC)

    Two copies as gifts and one for me, and everyone delighted! A pleasure to read and I appreciated the great diversity. I’d love to see a photo of the mushroom-Roquefort tartlets — did I miss it?
    Thanks for all your hard work!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you like the book! There were so many pictures in the book that, even though the book turned out to be 25-30% larger than originally anticipated, we couldn’t include photographs of everything unless I cut some of the recipes, which I didn’t want to do.

    • Amisja

    I was looking through the book this morning when I noticed an error in the tisane recipe
    It calls for 4 cups (500mL) water and I was wondering which was correct

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, there is a conversion error there and that’s been fixed. More here!


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