5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to France Magazines today click here

French Christmas Drinks

PUBLISHED: 16:12 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:56 20 November 2017

Cointreau cocktail © bhofack2 / Thinkstockphotos

Cointreau cocktail © bhofack2 / Thinkstockphotos

Indulging in a French spirit this Christmas? Learn all about the origins of three of our favourite French Christmas tipples


This orange liqueur makes a great ingredient for cocktails or is delicious served neat ‘on the rocks’. It originates from Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou, just outside Angers in Pays de la Loire, where the distillery welcomes visitors keen to know more about this lovely liqueur. Though the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, visitors can see the alambics used in the production process, learn about the different flavours that go into it and see some amazing examples of advertising collected throughout the years. You can also learn how to mix a mean cocktail with the help of their in-house barman.


Noilly Prat

If a Martini is your cocktail of choice, then the French ingredient really should be Noilly Prat. This white vermouth hails from Marseillan, where the Canal du Midi meets the Mediterranean, and was invented by the herbalist Joseph Noilly in 1813. You can visit the Maison Noilly Prat, which sits on the harbour in the pretty town, from March to November, and take a tour to find out more about the herbs and spices used to make the drink and of course taste the different varieties, including Ambre Noilly Prat, only available locally, and Red Noilly Prat. The vermouth is also great when used in cooking, as also explained on the tour, so try adding it to fish dishes à la Rick Stein’s French Odyssey.



It’s just a short hop to the home of this herbal liqueur, the current incarnation of which has been in production at the impressive gothic and renaissance Benedictine palace in the Normandy town of Fécamp since 1863. The recipe for it was discovered by Alexandre Le Grand, a merchant and collector of religious art, who discovered the recipe for this liqueur – which was originally created in 1510 - in his collection. As well as learning about the elixir’s early beginnings, you can admire Alexandre Le Grand’s amazing collection of art, sculpture, and other artworks also housed at the museum.


Like this? Don't miss:

Christmas food and wine pairing

The ultimate guide to Christmas in France

Quiz: How many of these traditional French foods have you tried?

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Travel

Mon, 12:25

Cassel in Nord is the latest village to win the title of ‘France’s favourite village 2018’. Explore all of this year’s 14 finalists and vote in our poll to let us know which one is your favourite

Read more
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Need ideas for this summer holiday in France? There are plenty of routes for a multi-activity trip in the Maurienne valley in the French Alps

Read more
French Alps
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

More than just a stopping point, Narbonne is a beautifully diverse city with the marks of centuries of civilisation. Let this Aude town cast its beautiful and medieval spell on you…

Read more
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The medieval village of Yvoire in Haute-Savoie stands on the shore of Lake Geneva and is one of France’s Plus Beaux Villages. Here’s our insider’s guide to things to do, see and visit in Yvoire

Read more
Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Explore Europe on a CroisiEurope river cruise and discover sunlit vineyards, vibrant cities and fascinating places...

Read more
Boating in France
Friday, June 22, 2018

Want to listen to some live music this summer? From classical concerts to rock shows, here are 9 music festivals in France you should visit

Read more
Culture and attractions
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Looking for a new route for your next cycling holiday to France? On the ‘Trail of Two Cities’ route you can cycle from London to Paris and discover many beautiful towns and villages along the way

Read more
Cycling in France
Monday, June 11, 2018

In a patchwork of landscapes, the Upper Valley of the Aude boasts unspoilt countryside and a protected natural environment, which is perfect for hikers and nature lovers looking to escape the crowds of Carcassonne

Read more
Friday, June 8, 2018

Cycling through the Loire Valley past vineyards and châteaux, dressed in vintage clothes and riding a retro bike… what’s not to love about the Anjou Vélo Vintage?

Read more
Cycling in France
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

From recycling schemes to public parks and green spaces, a number of French cities are making an effort to become more environmentally friendly. According to a report these are the 10 greenest cities in France

Read more
Pays de la Loire
Subscribe today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now