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

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