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10 French Cocktails You Will Love

Discover 10 French cocktails that will make you say ooh-la-la.

Tomate Cocktail with Bottles

French cocktails aren’t as famous as French wine but maybe they should be.

They’re tasty. They’re fun. And they have that je ne sais quoi that only exists in French cities like Paris, Lyon and Strasbourg.

Fun Fact
The French don’t say cheers when they make toasts. They say santé instead.

Drinking French Cocktails in France

Absinthe Drip at Aedaen Speakeasy in Strasbourg
We encountered this fountain dripper at a Strasbourg speakeasy.

There’s something special about drinking French cocktails in France and especially in Paris. After all, Paris is the city where Harry MacElhone first mixed iconic cocktails like the Boulevardier, French 75, Sidecar and White Lady.

Ironically, many travelers don’t associate France with cocktails as they do with neighboring Italy. It’s ironic because the French produce excellent liquors including Chartreuse, Cognac, Cointreau and Pastis. And, while the French didn’t invent Absinthe, they popularized the controversial liquor more than a century ago.

Drinking French Cocktails at Home

Mauresque Cocktail with Olives and Nuts
We paired this Mauresque with olives and pistachios when we crafted the refreshing French cocktail at home. We also took the extra step of garnishing it with a star anise pod.

French cocktails are surprisingly easy to craft at home despite their sophistication. They’re also diverse – some French cocktails double as bourbon bombshells while others sparkle both in the glass and on the tongue. And, in a fun twist, one French cocktail wasn’t actually invented in France.

These are our favorite French cocktail recipes:

10 of the Best French Cocktails

Pre-Prohibition Cocktail FAQs

What are French cocktails?

With the exception of the French Connection cocktail, French cocktails are cocktails that were invented in France. Typical ingredients include Gin, Pastis and Champagne.

What are the most iconic French cocktail?

While numerous French cocktails are popular both in France and beyond, the Kir Royale and Sidecar are the most iconic French cocktails.

When is the best time to drink French cocktails?

While it’s always a good time to drink French cocktails, the best time is typically in the early evening since many French cocktails are wonderful apertifs.

Where is the best place to drink French cocktails?

France is obviously the best place to drink French cocktails. However, it’s also fun to drink French cocktails at bars around the world and to craft them at home.

About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft these cocktails.

Original Publication Date: April 7, 2023