Enter our competition to win a copy of Doni Belau’s Paris Cocktails
“We no longer just ‘prendre un verre’ (have a glass), which in the past almost always meant wine. A French native today is open and anxious to try a French-made cocktail, chock full of French-made products.”
The craze for cocktails is now internationally established, with new and quirky creations being concocted, shaken and stirred in bars and hotels the world over – so much so that choosing what to drink can be just as complicated as what to eat.
Author Doni Belau – founder of the website www.girlsguidetoparis.com – has been visiting the French capital since 1987, a time when even “trying to get a barman to pour you a vodka on the rocks was difficult”. Since the opening of the Experimental Cocktail Club’s speakeasy-style bar 20 years later, a multitude of craft bars have popped up across the city and cocktail culture is in full, hedonistic swing.
What many may not know is that France has had such a culture dating back as far as the 1800s, and today’s sparkling flutes and cut-glass tumblers are fizzing and frothing with ingredients with a very long history. This mouthwatering compendium contains over 100 recipes, from timeless tipples to avant-garde creations, so you can sample the artistry in your own home and bring a little corner of Paris into your life.
Preceded by a few ‘French cocktailing rules’ (do clink glasses, don’t cross arms) and a thorough run of cocktail nomenclature, Belau launches headfirst into classic Parisian examples with all-too-tempting names like Amour à la Française and Bisous du Soleil. There are signature drinks from leading mixologists, cocktails inspired by French writers, musicians and revolutions, and the answers to what to serve at a Midnight in Paris party, Jazz Era celebration or Mardi Gras fête.
We love the book’s design – opening with a vintage city map peeping through a cut-out martini glass, the pages strike the right balance between photography and text and they’re peppered with quotes, serving suggestions and interesting facts within very Déco-esque graphics. The book is also greatly enhanced by some fabulous bar and hotel reviews so that if you find yourself in the City of Light, you know precisely where to seek out your glass of heaven.
We have three copies of Paris Cocktails to give away. Click here to enter the competition.
Closing date: 15 December
Paris Cocktails: The Art of French Drinking, Doni Belau, £16.99, Cider Mill Press, ISBN 978-1604335637