Almost everyone knows what a Kir Royal is; a flute of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) and Champagne or sparkling wine. But in Normandy and Brittany, the drink takes a decidedly regional turn, and becomes a Kir Normandy if made with Calvados (apple brandy), or Kir Breton, if made with Breton apple brandy, known as Lambig.

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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…

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It’s no secret that Romain has fallen in love with the Rosemary Gimlet. He’s featured in Drinking French sipping the drink. But I’ve been trying to shake things up, so to speak, and get him to branch out to similar cocktails. And the White Lady is a good one, especially if rosemary isn’t available. But it’s an equally bracing gin and citrus cocktail, that’s easy…

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Today Paris, and all of France, comes out of lockdown. The government has relaxed restrictions and you’ll no longer need an attestation (self-written consent form) to leave your home or apartment. The country has been divided into two zones, red and green, determining where the virus is spreading most rapidly. You can view the map here. (Paris is départment 75.) Restrictions vary by zone, but…

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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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If I had to compile a list of the top five National Dishes of France, right up there would be salade de carottes râpées, or grated carrot salad. It’s everywhere. You’ll find it on many café and bistro menus, Charcuteries sell it by the kilo, and even supermarkets sell it packed up in rectangular containers, ready to go, which office workers and others enjoy for…

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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…

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This elegant sipper is the creation of Damon Boelte, who is the head bartender and co-owner of Grand Army bar and restaurant in Brooklyn. Not only is Damon a great bartender, but he has a particular knack for naming cocktails. This one is based on an experimental music album (Damon is also a musician), although I like to think it got its name because it’s…

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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…

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