In celebrating “World Cocktail Week” from May 6-13, I will be offering up cocktails from around the globe focusing on a different region of the world or country's signature drinks culminating in “World Cocktail Day” on the 13th. It will be a long and arduous week of research, writing, editing, and blogging, but I’m up to the challenge with a little help from Three Olives Double Espresso Vodka. This week was selected for the prestigious holiday because it marks the first time the word ‘cocktail’ was published back in 1806. The definition appeared in “The Balance and Columbian Repository” and read, “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters." I can drink to that!
First up - The French
Most recipes reflect the classic ingredients, but occasionally modified by me for a more modern-day twist and use of organic spirits, liqueurs, and bitters that have revolutionized modern-day cocktails.
Cover Photo by: Kellie Evans
This light cocktail of brandy and the sweet herbal liqueur Chartreuse Jaune will have you feeling like you're sauntering down the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
- 1 oz Brandy
- ½ oz Yellow Chartreuse
- ½ oz fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp superfine sugar or simple syrup
- 1 dash of BAR KEEP Chinese Bitters
- Lemon peel for garnish
Prep - Shake all ingredients together in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
Photo by: Maxime Iattoni
The Rose Cocktail
A popular cocktail in 1920's Paris, this delicate concoction gets its soft pink color from the addition of raspberry syrup, and its floral notes from the use of vermouth and kirsch, a dry cherry brandy.
- 2 oz French Dry Vermouth, preferable Noilly Prat
- 1 oz Kirschwasser Cherry Brandy
- 1 tsp Monin raspberry syrup or homemade raspberry syrup (infuse raspberries with equal parts sugar and water)
- 1 maraschino cherry to garnish
Prep - Combine vermouth, kirsch, and syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for about 15 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add cherry.
Photo by: Anna Stockwell
Named for an innovative piece of French artillery and comprising just four ingredients — gin, lemon, simple syrup, Champagne — the French 75, when made properly, features nose-tickling bubbly as the gateway to a perfectly integrated combination of floral gin and citrus. Many bars have different variations of this classic French concoction, but this is it's authentic recipe with a great added feature of rose liqueur from KOVAL, which has citrus notes and goes great with gin.
- 1 oz Bloom or Magellan Floral Gin or KOVAL Dry Gin
- 1⁄2 oz KOVAL Rose Hip Organic Liqueur
- ½ oz. Simple syrup
- 1⁄2 oz fresh lemon juice
- French Brut Champagne, like Moet, or a dry sparkling white wine
- Lemon twist to garnish
Prep - Combine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a glass. Top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist to serve.
Photo by: Helen Rosner
The French Blonde
In this cocktail, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice rounds out Lillet's inherent bite, creating a sweet, citrusy drink that's perfect for brightening up cold weather.
- ½ oz Elderflower liqueur, like St. Germain or St. Elder
- 1 oz Prairie Organic Gin
- 2 oz Blond/Blanc Lillet Aperitif Wine
- 2 oz fresh white grapefruit juice
- 1-2 dashes of BAR KEEP Fennel bitters
- Grapefruit peel for garnish
Prep - All all ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish grapefruit peel
The French Connection
Photo by: MacKenzie Smith
Cognac, fresh raspberries, and sparkling wine combine to make this fizzy, romantic cocktail, based on Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. This recipe was developed by Nighthawk Cinema's Beverage Director Jen Marshall.
- 2 oz Courvoisier VSOP Cognac
- 1⁄4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 oz Simple syrup
- 4 fresh raspberries or 2 peach slices
- Sparkling wine to top
Prep - Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, and shake well to break down the raspberries and/or peaches. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve or strainer into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Top with a splash of sparkling wine.
Photo by: MacKenzie Smith
This recipe, developed by Nitehawk Cinema's Beverage Director Jen Marshall, was inspired by the Oscar-nominated film Hugo. The magical sophistication of elderflower, citrus, and green chartreuse mirrors Hugo's and Isabella's enchanting quest through 1930's Paris.
- 1 1⁄2 oz TRU Organic Gin
- 1 oz Elderflower liqueur, like St. Germain or St. Elder
- 3⁄4 oz fresh lime juice
- 3⁄4 oz Green chartreuse
- Dash of BAR KEEP Lavender bitters
Prep - Combine all ingredients in a large mixing glass. Add ice. Stir thoroughly and strain the mixture into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a lime twist.
La Grande Parade de Paris Cocktail
Photo by: Todd Coleman
Sweet and tangy, with the mild smokiness of pink peppercorns and the salty edge of black cured olives, this elaboration of a vodka martini is as grand and glamorous as the wide avenues of Paris. Fresh grapefruit and pomegranate juice balance out the rich balsamic reduction in this sophisticated drink.
- 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh-ground pink peppercorns
- ¼ juice of pink grapefruit
- 1¾ oz fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice
- 2 oz orange-flavored vodka, preferably Square One Bergamot Organic Vodka or Grey Goose L'Orange
- ½ oz Sweet Vermouth, preferably Noilly Prat Rouge
- 2 Niçoise olives for garnish
1. Place the balsamic vinegar in a non-reactive pan over low heat and reduce by about one-third so that it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Cool the reduced balsamic, but do not let it harden. Meanwhile, add the pepper to a mixing glass. Juice the grapefruit into the glass. Add 1 tsp. of the reduced balsamic, the pomegranate juice, vodka, and sweet vermouth, and stir well to mix.
2. Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Pour the cocktail mixture into the shaker and shake until the cocktail is well-chilled. Pour into a small, stemmed glass, and garnish with olives on a cocktail skewer to serve.
Photo by: http://www.simplifried.com
One of Raise Your Spirit's signature and most popular cocktails used for many wedding receptions and events, this classic 'French Martini' with an added twist is one of the most classy and elegant cocktails to be enjoyed for that special occasion.
- 1 oz French Vodka, Ciroc or Grey Goose or Prairie Organic Vodka
- 1/2 oz Chambord French Liqueur or raspberry cordial
- 1/2 oz pineapple juice
- 1 oz Barefoot Bubbly Berry Fusion, Sparkling Wine or Brut Champagne
- 3 raspberries skewered for garnish (optional)
Prep - Combine all ingredients except sparkling wine in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish raspberries (optional)