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Five Drinks You Must Try in France

Discovering a culture through its food and drink can be just as much fun as exploring the destination itself.

We all know that France is known for their haute cuisine, as well as their fashion. Well, there are a few drinks that are extra special finds in France as well.  

And though champagne is at the top of any French girls list- I'm offering up five other French drinks you must try!


P1020048 1.  Citron Pressé.  Especially refreshing on a hot summer's day in Paris is a fancy French lemonade. Traditionally served in cafes, it is a the perfect thirst-quenching beverage.  Your waiter brings a tall glass filled with ice and freshly-squeezed lemon juice, a pitcher of cold water and some sugar.  You get to mix your own concoction for the desired amount of tart vs. sweet.  Your lips will be so puckered, you may just be pronouncing your French better after you sip!


PICT0322 2.  Cafe au Lait.  By far it's my favorite authentic French drink.  Being a coffee addict, this is my beverage of choice to start every French day.  A bowl filled with an equal mixture of steaming hot coffee and frothy warmed milk create a mocha-colored beverage that warms both the heart and the fingertips. It marries best with a buttery, flaky croissant.  


Kir 3.  Kir or Kir Royale. The créme de la créme of elegant French cocktails, it is the drink of choice for the popular before-dinner-event known as apéritif.  Served in a champagne flute this mixture of white wine (kir) or champagne (kir royale) and a splash of créme de cassis is a show-stopping blush pink after mixing. Go for the Royale if you like bubbles that tickle the taste buds on the way down.  


Pastis 4. Pastis.  Made fashionable in the South of France, specifically Provence and Marseilles, Pastis is mainly a summer beverage- but don't let that stop you!  It has a strong anise, or licorice flavor and is typically diluted with cool spring water to create a milky, refreshing elixir.  Pastis is often incorrectly associated with absinthe- but don't worry, it may taste a bit similar, but you won't be hallucinating after drinking it. Well, unless you enjoy a whole bottle yourself!


Hot chocolate 5.  Chocolat l'ancienne.  Winter can be down right bone-chilling in France, not to mention the biting wind and rain in the other months. Head for the cover of a spot where they serve chocolate chaud.  This is not your typical American cocoa powder and hot water mixture.  Oh no, this is thick, rich and decadent melted dark chocolate poured into cups, and served alongside it's own separate dish of fresh whipped cream. So thick and creamy in fact that you might just be able to eat it with a spoon- or at least stand one up in the cup!  


And what would be your favorite French drink?


photo credits : kirpastis

  • User Gravatar
    anne
    November 9th, 2009

    Hi Robin, had 4 of them :-) not the
    Citron Pressé though…!

  • User Gravatar
    poppy fields
    November 9th, 2009

    Like all of those, though my favorite is cold rosé wine on a hot summer’s eve’…

  • User Gravatar
    Cherrye at My Bella Vita
    November 10th, 2009

    I *LOVE* Kir! We went crazy on that stuff when I lived in Paris … so much so that “that group” and I have Kir parties when we get together and my bridal party served them at my shower!

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    November 10th, 2009

    Sounds like your a real pro Anne! Now you MUST try a Citron Pressé when you return :)

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    November 10th, 2009

    Oh, don’t get me wrong Poppy, I too love my wine. And Rose on a hot summer eve in Provence sounds perfect. Can I join you?

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    November 10th, 2009

    Sounds like a great party to me, Cherrye! I think we’ll have kirs when I visit you in Italy then ;)

  • User Gravatar
    kalee
    November 10th, 2009

    We make citron presses regularly here! No sugar though, just one or two lemons squeezed into a glass with water (sparkling or still) added. Cafe au lait is something I’ve been drinking since I was a child, and still the best way to have coffee (which reminds me I need to learn to froth milk). I had a Kir Royale for the first time up in Victoria, B.C. when at the Empress for tea with my aunt. I don’t do licorice, so sadly never had a pastis, although I’ve been told they’re amazing. And we made hot chocolate like that last year, with a small hot pepper, and it was out of this world amazing, but best served in petite quantities because as it cools you really do lose your spoon!

  • User Gravatar
    le petit cabinet de curiosites
    November 14th, 2009

    I love orangina !! I think chocolat à l’ancienne are hard to find in the south and the best chocolat I have ever tried was in Prague

  • User Gravatar
    whatever
    November 17th, 2009

    I dont know what i had so whatever i liked all of them ok bye i need to drink another Kir or Kir Royale!!!!

  • User Gravatar
    Marion
    March 29th, 2011

    Cool blog post! I miss Pastis and “citron pressé”… but not “café au lait”, because I think cappuccino is way much better :).

    Have you ever tried “panaché”?

    Thanks Marion! No, I haven’t tried that. I’ll have to now. And I ♥ both cafe au lait AND cappuccino.

  • User Gravatar
    Marion
    March 30th, 2011

    Yes, you definitely have to try panaché! It’s simply beer mixed with lemonade, the perfect summer drink to enjoy on the terrace of a French bistro! ;)

  • User Gravatar
    Sandra
    January 10th, 2013

    I agree with previous comments about a good Rosé and Pastris! I also love a good ol’ Perrier Menthe or Perrier Citron in summer! I’ve taken to Panaché as well, very refreshing. But I can’t go past a Picon Biere when I’m in France, so nice and bitter!

    I’ve never had a Panaché. Thanks for giving me a new drink to try Sandra ;)
    Sandra recently posted..France snapshots – Romans – May 2012My Profile

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