How to Drink French Fluently is a collection of more than 30 new and exciting cocktails specially created by some of the best mixologists in the U.S. These cocktails are inspired by the joie de vivre of the French lifestyle; they were designed to be sipped throughout the day, for brunch or apéro, outdoors and in. To be enjoyed in any corner of the world, these libations are little slices of France, transporting you to a Parisian brasserie, atop a bar stool at a zinc counter, or a midsummer garden party on the French Riviera.
The book couldn’t have come at a better time, as Paris cocktail culture is having a moment– with trendy neighborhood bars serving up imaginative craft cocktails. It’s a real movement.
The author, Camille Ralph Vidal, tells us the aim of the book is to “take you on a journey—from the first meal of the day to the last sip of the night—with St-Germain keeping pace every step of the way.”
Here are a few of our favorites, excerpted from the book with permission from the publisher. Santé!
East of Eden
“I’ve never really understood the Bloody Mary with brunch,” explains Jeffrey Morgenthaler. “It’s so heavy.” A more delicate alternative, the East of Eden combines gin, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur, and an inventive gewürztraminer syrup.
The blend of St-Germain and white wine makes for a subtle cocktail to accompany the first meal of the day, rather than take its place.
– 1½ ounces London dry gin
– ¾ ounce lemon juice
– ½ ounce Gewürztraminer syrup
– ¼ ounce St-Germain
– ½ ounce egg white
Method: Shake all of the ingredients with ice, then fine strain into a coupe. Express the lemon peel and discard.
Garnish: Lemon peel
The Señorita Spritz is a genre-bending cocktail crafted from ingredients whose origins span the globe. Despite the bold base of fino sherry and gin, Lynnette Marrero’s take on the brunch cocktail remains light in flavor through the addition of St-Germain, strawberry shrub, and a syrup made from muña, a mintlike Peruvian herb (dried peppermint tea can be substituted). The result is fruity, fizzy, and food-friendly.
– ¼ ounce muña syrup
– ¼ ounce strawberry shrub
– 1 ounce fino sherry
– ¾ ounce London dry gin
– ¾ ounce St-Germain
– 2 ounces cava
Splash of sparkling water, preferably Perrier
Method: Stir all of the ingredients except the Perrier in a rocks glass over ice. Top with the Perrier. Garnish with the strawberry and mint.
Garnish: Strawberry and mint.
In her Gentleman Caller, Abigail Gullo relies on the botanicals of gin, the bitterness of Aperol, and the dryness and perceivable acidity of fino sherry to enhance the florality of St-Germain. In combination, these traditional aperitif flavors serve to brighten the palate, making it the perfect accompaniment to pre-dinner snacks.
-1 ounce London dry gin
-1 ounce fino en rama sherry
-¾ ounce St-Germain
-¾ ounce Apero
Method: Stir all of the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with the lemon peel.
Garnish: Lemon peel.
Tête à Tête
Crafted with Citadelle Gin and St-Germain, the central components of Xavier Herit’s Tête-à-Tête nod to the bartender’s own French roots, while the flavor profile sticks to the classic combination of elderflower and cucumber.
-1½ ounces premium French gin
-¾ ounce St-Germain
-¾ ounce lime juice
-¼ ounce simple syrup (1:1, sugar:water)
-¼ ounce cucumber juice
Method: Shake all of the ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe. Garnish with the basil leaf and cubeb peppers.
Garnish: Basil leaf and 3 cubeb peppers.
These cocktail recipes were taken from How to Drink French Fluently: A Guide to Joie de Vivre with St-Germain Cocktails. The full book is available on Amazon below.