Popular French drinks which you must have to try
French food is world-renowned for its fresh ingredients, complex flavors, and innovative presentation. Naturally, the same can be said for French drinks as well. The French are well-known for their café culture. The drink is often served in tall, slender glasses, and drinkers can select from a wide variety of flavors and styles.
In France, wine is not the only drink with a special place in the hearts and minds of the French. So here's a quick overview of the nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages deeply rooted in French culture and imbibed by many (with moderation). From aperitifs to digestives, here's a list of French drinks you should try at least once.
The Kir is a classic French cocktail of crème de cassis and white wine. The traditional white wine to use is Aligoté, a relatively light, dry, and acidic white wine from Burgundy. Outside of France, like in UK, it's often made with some other white wine instead; even in Burgundy itself, it's not uncommon to use other wines.
If you prefer a sweeter drink, crème de cassis liqueur is often substituted by Chambord (raspberry liqueur).
Pastis is a French anise-flavoured spirit and apéritif from Pernod Ricard. It is often associated with its former name, Ricard, and its distinctive flavor, which comes from star anise, commonly consumed as an apéritif.
Pastis is traditionally served with water and ice. The cloudiness that appears when water is added to the liquor is due to starches (formerly from the licorice root) and proteins in the drink.
- It is drunk after being diluted with five or six parts of cold water. Some people also add a few drops of lemon juice to give it a refreshing taste.
- The drink can be served very cold in summer and at room temperature in winter.
The French Picon Bière is a popular alcoholic drink in France and a favorite among hikers. It is made of one part grenadine, two parts beer, and three parts bitter Orangina. For a more spicy taste, you can add an ounce of liquor (usually pastis, genepy, or vodka).
Drinks made with Picon include the Picon Punch (with soda water) and the Picon Biere (with beer).
Kirsch is a clear, colorless fruit brandy traditionally made from double distillation of Morello cherries, a dark-colored cultivar of the sour cherry. However, it is now also made from other kinds of cherries. Kirschwasser is not sweet. Kirschwasser is not sweet. Kirschwasser is not sweet; unlike cherry liqueurs and so-called "cherry brandies," Kirschwasser is not sweet. The best Kirschwasser has a refined taste with subtle flavors of cherry and a slight bitter-almond taste that derives from the stone of the cherry.
Kirsch may be used in
- Chocolate sauce and fondue desserts.
- It is also used in Eaux-de-vie and cocktails.
Calvados is a French brandy made from apples. It is a digestif (after-dinner drink). Calvados is sometimes consumed as apéritif, but they are often drunk after a meal. A popular combination is to drink coffee with Calvados instead of Cognac.
When the drinker takes a sip of Calvados, it should feel like an apple orchard on a summer day; fresh and full of fruit. Some producers even sell vintage port labeled as vintage Calvados.
Cognac is a type of brandy produced in the Charente-Maritime department of France. This spirit is made from two different white grapes, Ugni Blanc and Folle Blanche. The grape juice goes through a double distillation process, which gives the beverage its unique taste. Cognac is often served as an after-dinner drink that can be paired with desserts or enjoyed on its own.
Pineau des Charentes
Pineau des Charentes, also known as Pineau, is one of the most famous alcoholic products from Charente, Charente-Maritime, and Dordogne. This aperitif is made from grape must (grape juice) and Cognac. It is an original and unique product. The Pineau des Charentes has been produced in Cognac since the 16th century.
- Pineau des Charentes is mostly a drink for people who already like Cognac or are looking for something a bit off the beaten track.
- The taste can be robust, but the intense flavors are reminiscent of dry sherry.
Cointreau can be used to make a wide range of classic cocktails, including the Margarita and the Sidecar. It is also used in several modern drinks, including the Cosmopolitan.
What makes cosmopolitans different from other cocktails is the choice of liquor. Most cocktails call for vodka. Not only does this one not call for vodka, but it also doesn't use any of the other traditional cocktail liquors, either. A cosmo calls for Cointreau, a French triple sec liqueur. If you can't find Cointreau, don't substitute another brand of triple sec. It won't give you the same results.
Traditional Chartreuse is made with 130 herbs, plants, and flowers. The liqueur's distinct yellow color comes from saffron. There are different varieties.
- There is a yellow and green one.
- The yellow is slightly sweeter than the green, 110 proofs, and has a more potent herbal taste.
- The green will last forever, while the yellow has a best-by date like any other wine or spirit and should be drunk within two years of purchase.
French Absinthe is the classic drink served in Paris cafes and bars. It has a strong anise flavor, which may not be to everyone's liking.
The French Absinthe ritual includes a slotted spoon, a sugar cube, and cold water. A glass of chilled Absinthe is placed under the slotted spoon. The sugar cube is placed on the spoon, and iced water is poured over it. The water changes the color of the Absinthe from green or clears to cloudy white and changes the taste from bitter to sweet.
Drinking French Absinthe requires some preparation because it takes longer than other drinks, but it can be fun to do with family and friends, who will be impressed by your ability to perform this ritual.
The Ti-punch is a famous cocktail in the French West Indies, including Martinique. It has become increasingly popular in mainland France since the 1990s.
Ti-punch is best served on ice, with a single lime wedge as garnish. When ordering it at a bar or restaurant in Martinique, you'll probably be asked how much syrup you want in your glass — half a teaspoon is considered an average amount.
The Jacqueline cocktail is made with gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The most exciting ingredient in the Jacqueline is probably crème de violette. It gives it a beautiful purple color which makes it look like grape juice.
The French Panaché is a refreshing summer drink, similar to a Shandy. It's made with equal parts beer and lemonade and is typically served in a tall glass. The word Panaché translates from French to mean "mixed" or "diluted," thus, the French Panaché is a mixed beer. This simple drink is perfect for a hot summer day and is an excellent alternative to the classic shandy, more prevalent in England and Ireland.
Monaco, or a Monte Carlo, is a non-alcoholic drink that consists of lemonade and grenadine syrup combined with carbonated water. It can be served on its own or with a splash of fruit juice. The drink is most commonly consumed in France near the Riviera coast, but it has spread to other parts of the world.
Champagne from the Champagne Region
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to effect carbonation. It is named after the Champagne region of France.
The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are black Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, and white Chardonnay. Champagne appellation law only allows grapes grown according to appellation rules in specifically designated plots within the appellation to be used in the production of Champagne.
French soft drinks
Oasis (French: [o.a.sis]) is a brand of fruit juice and fruit-flavored soft drink marketed as "natural" or "fruit juice drink" (jus de fruit). There are two variants - Oasis Citron and Oasis Tropical. The Coca-Cola Company owned the brand, which acquired it in 1992 from the UK-based soft drinks manufacturer Beecham.
Fruit syrup and water, called Granité, is a specialty of southern France and is especially popular in the summer. They come in all colors and flavors, including cherry and peach.
Ordinary tap water, bottled water, or mineral water is used. The syrups are poured into the glass, and then the water is added. They may be pretty strong or relatively weak, depending on your taste.
The Diabolo is a sweet, carbonated soft drink made from lemon concentrate, water, and sugar. It is sold in several flavors: cola, grenadine (pomegranate), orange, peach, cherry, and the original lemon flavor.
Here's where things get a little different.
- Instead of stirring your ingredients with a long-handled spoon or swizzle stick, use a small strainer to push the ice around as you're stirring until you have nothing but tiny chips of ice left in your glass.
Perrier is a French brand of natural bottled mineral water captured at the source in Vergèze, located in the Gard département. Perrier is best known for its naturally occurring carbonation, distinctive green bottle, and higher carbonation levels than its peers. The spring from which Perrier water is sourced is naturally carbonated. It is also the main ingredient for mixed drinks such as cocktails or soft drinks such as tonic water or lemonade.
The French specialty, pop, is a naturally sparkling drink made with pressed fruit, plants, and cane sugar extracts. Pop is a drink that everyone can enjoy. It is a 100% natural product without preservatives or coloring.
Pop comes in six delicious flavors:
- Wild strawberry-elderflower,
- And blueberry-lemon.
The Fizzy Apple is a cocktail that mixes apple juice with champagne, sparkling wine, or white wine and is a popular drink in France. It is made by adding the wine to the apple juice and stirring the mixture. The result is a carbonated, pinkish-orange drink.
Apple juice has a sweet taste, and its light color makes it popular with children and adults. Apple cider is sometimes considered healthier than apple juice because it is more concentrated and has more nutrients. However, cider can contain more sugar than apple juice.
Grape juice is a simple mix of grape and water, but it's just so delicious. The two flavors combine to make the perfect balance between sweet and sour, and its smooth texture makes the flavor even more enjoyable as it slides down your throat. It's also highly refreshing excellent on a hot summer day or after working out. It also pairs well with most foods, so it's an excellent addition to any meal.
The French lemonade uses sparkling water (carbonated water) instead of still water. In the past, it was made with the fresh juice of lemons, but today most French lemonade is made from a base of syrup that contains sugar and water and then mixed with carbonated water.
Orangina is a carbonated soft drink created in Agen, France, in 1935. Orangina is made from orange, tangerine, lemon juices, sugar, carbonated water, and other flavorings. Orangina's original orange spritzer is a refreshing and juicy beverage made from Valencia oranges. Its pulpiness and zesty orange taste characterize it.
Orangina's light effervescence accentuates its authentic orange flavor, making it a perfect drink to enjoy during your leisure time with friends or family at any time of day.
Gini is a soft drink produced by the French company Pernod Ricard, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. Gini was first produced in the 1930s. The colorless beverage has high caffeine content and is flavored with juniper berry extract.
Gini is sold as an energy drink. It is not considered an alcoholic beverage as it does not contain alcohol. The name "Gini" derives from "Genievre," the French word for juniper, the flavoring used in the drink.
Breizh Cola is a very original drink, sweet but not too much, with a nice hint of licorice. The Breizh Cola is a subtle mix of caramel and aniseed with natural essential oils. The Breizh Cola is also fruit-based syrup (36%), where sugar is replaced by fructose. Breizh Cola is produced in the heart of Brittany, and its ingredients are 100% French.
French hot chocolate is a silky, rich, and creamy beverage that's the perfect blend of smooth melted chocolate and warm milk. It's made with premium dark or semi-sweet chocolate, not cocoa powder or chocolate chips.
It's also important to note that traditional French hot chocolate is not very sweet. This is because it's made with a bar of dark chocolate rather than a bar of sweeter milk chocolate. If you prefer things on the sweeter side, you can add sugar to your cup.
As we know French drinks are world-renowned for its fresh ingredients, complex flavors, and innovative presentation. You must have to try these French drinks.