Cocktail culture has landed in Paris. It took a while, though. France has always been known for its wine and beer, rather than Torontos, Cosmopolitans, and Martinis. And many of us have memories of trying to explain to a very confused café waiter how to make a martini, when they want to serve you a glass of Martini & Rossi (vermouth).
I’ve been reading Boozehound by Jason Wilson, who writes the spirits column for The Washington Post, who I met last year when I visited Cognac. I got a good laugh at his story about going to Tuscany and being unable to find anyone drinking or even knowing what Tuaca was, which reminded me of trying to find a café in Paris shortly after I arrived a few years back that even knew what Lillet was. (And being served a tall glass of milk, instead.)
One drink that has taken Paris by storm in the Aperol Spritz. Thanks for a concerted effort on the part of the company to get the bitter/sweet orange aperitif into every bar and café, Parisians are drinking them up.
Because it’s from Italy, it’s normal to use Prosecco to give a Spritz its fizziness. I also prefer to make mine with Campari, which more bitter than Aperol, and I tend to like drinks with a bitter edge to them.This is a great drink for summer since it’s not overly potent, and something that’s also nice to serve at aperitif hour when you want to serve a low-ABV drink.
Recipes and Related Links
Guide to Italian Aperitivo and Drinks in Italy (Ms. Adventures in Italy)