14 July

French 75 Cocktail image

Bastille Day (La Fete Nationale)

So we are drinking a...

French 75 Cocktail

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*Update 15 July 2016*
The copy on this page was written and published before the horrific attack on the people of Nice on the on 14th July. We wish to extend our deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those involved.

Vive la Revolution. July 14th calls for a celebration of all things French, so roll out the croissant pastry, slice the baguette and fill the cheese platter with some beaufort, reblochon, chevrotin and comté, because the French would never enjoy these 10 francophile-inspired drinks on an empty stomach.

It was July 14, 1789, that the anguished French took matters into their own hands and stormed the Bastille, kick-starting the French revolution. Whilst the day didn't exactly go to plan - rather than imprisoning a hoard of angry political prisoners the Bastille had a mere seven old men - it was still the symbol of revolt that the country needed.

France celebrates its national day with Europe's largest annual military parade on the Champs-Élysées, after which parties ensue all over the country. We're toasting the nation that's given us cognac, armagnac, champagne, calvados and chartreuse, not to mention a host of other cocktail-essential liqueurs, with 10 Fete Nationale cocktails.

1. French 75

A classic and light early-evening drink which combines gin, lemon juice, sugar and champagne.

Legend has it that the drink was created by Harry MacElhone at his Harry's American Bar in Paris in 1925. However, like other drinks in the first (1919) edition of Harry's own book, The ABC of Mixing Drinks, he credits the drink to Macgarry of Buck's Club, London.

However it came about, this is one cocktail that will always have a place on any classic menu.

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Click here for the French 75 recipe

Hot Red-Blooded Frenchman

Great on a cold night, this is a perfect cocktail to toast the passion of those early French revolutionaries. Even today, under all that galic chic charm, we're fairly certain the French are still a hot-blooded nation. And if you don't believe us take a look at the lyrics to their national anthem.

This drink is a warming concoction of Grand Marnier, claret wine, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and hot water, similar to fruity mulled wine.

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Click here for the Hot Red-Blooded Frenchman recipe

French Cocktail

A twist on the iconic French Martini - more on which to follow - that really makes it more, well, French. How? Simply by swapping the usual vodka for a traditional French spirit - cognac.

Cognac V.S.O.P. combines with pineapple juice and black raspberry liqueur. Simple to make, and relatively easy to drink.

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Click here for the French Cocktail recipe

Parisian Sidecar

An elderflower flavoured Sidecar named after the fashionable Left Bank area of Paris which uses cognac V.S.O.P., elderflower liqueur and lemon juice.

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Click here for the Parisian Sidecar recipe

French Spring Punch

A Dick Bradsell and Rodolphe Sorel creation from Match EC1 in the late '90s. Whilst this might have English origins the list of ingredients includes cognac V.S.O.P., crème de framboise liqueur, and champagne brut as well as the inclusion of some lemon and sugar. What could be more French than that?

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Click here for the French Spring Punch recipe

La Tour Eiffel

Named after Paris' iconic Eiffel tower, there's little in this drink that doesn't originate in France. Cognac V.S.O.P., triple sec, Suze gentaine liqueur and absinthe.

Gaz Regan is responsible for this cocktail, when, after a Sazerac-fuelled trip to New Orleans, he wondered how the Sazerac might have been had it originally been created in France. And now we need wonder no more.

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Click here for La Tour Eiffel recipe

French Martini

Neither a Martini nor French, the origins of this modern classic are largely unknown. And intriguingly it's the Scots, particularly those in Glasgow, who seem to enjoy the French Martini and Chambord, more than anyone else worldwide.

However, when toasting the French it would seem rude to ignore the nation's own fruity-sweet namesake.

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Click here for the French Martini recipe

Purgatory a la Française

If this is a Frenchman's version of purgatory it really isn't so terrible. And at last a drink that can call Paris home, discovered by Difford's Guide in 2010 at Curio Parlour. It uses cognac V.S.O.P., Islay whisky (Lagavulin), yellow Chartreuse and Punt E Mes.

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Click here for the Purgatory a la Française recipe

French Whisky Sour

First came Tony Conigliaro's Liquorice Whisky Sour, which is frankly delicious but laborious to replicate for la France d'en bas (that's ordinary people for those non-français speaking) as it involves syrup production. So we've exchanged the liquorice syrup for Ricard Pastis, which adds a pleasing hint of anise and liquorice. And obviously makes it French. So there we go France, your very own Whisky Sour.

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Click here for the French Whisky Sour recipe

French Monkey

A blend of Scotch whisky, elderflower liqueur, apple juice and soda, this is a quite floral and refreshing serve. Originally created with Monkey Shoulder whisky, hence the name, the French bit came about thanks to the then-brand ambassador Xavier Padovani. And he's about as French as they come in the international bar scene.

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Click here for the French Monkey recipe

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