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10 French Cocktails Worth Sipping

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

Pouring Sparkling Wine into French 75 Cocktail
French 75
Are you craving a sophisticated cocktail made with gin and champagne? If so, try our classic French 75 recipe with Cointreau added for balance and an extra punch. You can make it at home with just five ingredients plus ice.
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Boulevardier with Peeled Orange
A Boulevardier cocktail is a Negroni crafted with bourbon instead of gin. Follow our easy recipe and craft a Boulevardier at home in just five minutes.
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Mauresque Cocktail from Above
See why drinking a Mauresque Cocktail with Ricard Pastis de Marseille is one of the greatest joys of visiting Marseille. Then learn how to make the pastis cocktail at home with just four ingredients.
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Kir Royale with Raspberry from Above
Kir Royale
With just three ingredients, the Kir Royale is proof that less can be more. An elegant drink that's super easy to craft at home, this Champagne cocktail is appropriately festive for any holiday or special occasion.
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Bourbon Sidecar with Lemon Twist and Sugar Rim
The Bourbon Sidecar cocktail takes the classic Sidecar to new heights by replacing cognac with bourbon. Follow our easy Bourbon Sidecar recipe and craft one at home in just five minutes.
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Old Pal Cocktail with White Background
Old Pal
The Old Pal is a boozier version of the Negroni and Boulevardier. It's also delicious. Craft one at home in just five minutes and find out if the Old Pal will be your new best friend.
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Between the Sheets Cocktail with White Background
Between the Sheets
Get your mind out of the gutter! The Between the Sheets Cocktail is a sophisticated sipper that you can order at a fancy bar or craft at home with just a handful of ingredients. Follow our easy recipe if you prefer the latter option.
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Tomate Cocktail by Wall
This easy Tomate cocktail recipe has just has four ingredients including water and ice. Though you'll be tempted to drink this refreshing drink on a hot summer day, it's also the perfect color to serve at a Christmas party or other festive event.
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White Lady Banner
White Lady
Proving that you shouldn't judge a cocktail by its name, the White Lady Cocktail is a classic drink that's appropriate for multicultural cocktail connoisseurs. Learn how to craft a White Lady cocktail at home in just five minutes.
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French Connection Cocktail from Above
French Connection
The French Connection cocktail has a fun name and is super easy to craft at home. However, don't underestimate this two-ingredient cocktail that tastes greater than the sum of its two parts. It's a cocktail keeper.
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French 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.

Thirsty For More Cocktails?

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Pre-Prohibition Cocktails
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 their website 2foodtrippers. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.

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Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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

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Original Publication Date: April 7, 2023