Being a reader of Chez Us you have a pretty good idea that we are huge Francophiles. We love all things French from the country to the people, to the food and wine. When we were recently contacted to review The Girls Guide to Paris founder, Doni Belau’s book Paris Cocktails we knew we had to. We were curious about this “craft cocktail” movement in France. After all, we are fairly familiar with enjoying bottles of French wine when in France, but craft cocktails? Quoi? This recipe for The French Old Fashioned definitely changed our mind about the cocktail in France.
This is not your typical cocktail book. Instead, think of it as part history, part travel guide and then classic recipes made with the French flair. For instance, I learned that during the Prohibition in the States, bartenders crossed the pond and became mixologists during the jazz era. Harry of Craddock of the Savory London is a classic example. Class cocktails were being invented and enjoyed while listening to great music during a time when it was banned from the US. In France one enjoys liquor as a means of enjoyment and not to overindulge; pairing with food is very acceptable. Years later the cocktail scene began to disappear, and one enjoyed wine in France.
Threefold as cocktails, especially craft cocktails are making a comeback. Time to book that flight to Paris! The travel part of the book features everything from traditional wine bars to hotel bars and new to me craft bars. One of my favorite streets in Paris is Rue Oberkampf, we rented a little apartment there a few years ago and there definitely was not a cocktail bar in sight. Now there is one called Bespoke, and I cannot wait to try it out, the cocktails sound innovative and very creative.
As part of the review process, we were asked if we would either try a cocktail from the book or get creative and make our own. There were so many to choose from, but I decided to go classic with a French twist by making The French Old Fashioned using Bastille Whiskey. Another new to me thing was that whiskey is being made in France. Bastille is a hand-crafted whiskey made from wheat as well as barley that is grown in northeast France. It is a very smooth whiskey that is great on its own or mixed with cocktails.
I am loving this book from the stories to the recipes. It is bright, fresh and informative. This cocktail book would make a lovely gift for the hard to buy for, cocktail-loving gal or guy. If you buy directly on the Girl’s Guide to Paris site, you will receive the following benefits:
- Receive a discounted book price of $17.95 (10% off retail price)
- Get a free 80-page e-guide book, EAT in Paris ($10.95 value)
- Ensure the author gets a share of the proceeds
If you are interested in attending an event where Doni Belau is speaking and mixing cocktails, she will be touring the US, France and the Uk. The schedule can be found here.
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The French Old Fashioned
2 ounces Bastille Whiskey or your favorite
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 splash of club soda
Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add the whiskey, bitters and club soda.
Garnish with the twist and cherry.
disclaimer: We received a complimentary bottle of Bastille Whiskey and a copy of this book in exchange for our review. All opinions, writing and photography are our own.