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Classic drinks and cocktails originating in France

By Gilbert
Reading Time: 3 minutes
French cocktails

France, renowned for its exquisite cuisine and wine, also boasts a rich cocktail culture. French cocktails have made their mark globally, with many classic drinks originating in France and utilizing the country’s exceptional spirits.

Whether you’re a cocktail enthusiast or simply looking to immerse yourself in French culture, these iconic French cocktails are a must-try.

French cocktails

Must-Try French Cocktails

1. French 75

The French 75, a sophisticated and refreshing cocktail, originated in Paris at the famous Harry’s New York Bar. Named after the powerful French 75mm field gun used during World War I, this cocktail packs a punch.


  • 45ml gin
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 10ml simple syrup
  • Champagne


  1. Shake gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice.
  2. Strain into a champagne flute.
  3. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

2. Kir Royale

The Kir Royale is a glamorous twist on the classic Kir, a cocktail named after Félix Kir, a mayor of Dijon. This cocktail highlights the delightful combination of crème de cassis and champagne.


  • 15ml crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
  • 90ml champagne


  1. Pour crème de cassis into a champagne flute.
  2. Top with champagne and gently stir.

3. Sidecar

The Sidecar, with its origins traced back to either Harry’s New York Bar in Paris or the Hôtel Ritz, is a timeless cocktail. This drink showcases the versatility of French cognac.


  • 50ml cognac
  • 25ml triple sec (Cointreau)
  • 20ml lemon juice


  1. Shake cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a sugared rim.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.

4. Mimosa

The Mimosa, a staple at brunches worldwide, was created in 1925 at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris. This simple yet elegant cocktail combines orange juice and champagne.


  • 60ml fresh orange juice
  • 60ml champagne


  1. Pour fresh orange juice into a champagne flute.
  2. Top with champagne and gently stir.

5. Champs-Elysées

The Champs-Elysées cocktail, named after the famous Parisian avenue, is a lesser-known gem that combines cognac with green Chartreuse, a French herbal liqueur.


  • 45ml cognac
  • 15ml green Chartreuse
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 10ml simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters


  1. Shake all ingredients with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.

French cocktails

The Place of Cocktails in France

In France, young people embrace the vibrant culture of drinking on terraces and in bars, where socializing over a glass of wine, a cocktail, or a beer is a cherished pastime. These lively settings, whether outdoor cafes or trendy bars, are perfect for unwinding with friends, engaging in conversations, and enjoying the convivial French atmosphere. While enjoying these moments, the emphasis is always on moderation and savouring quality drinks, reflecting the French approach to responsible and enjoyable social drinking.

French cocktails

Try the French Cocktails in France

As you explore life in France, trying these iconic cocktails offers a delightful way to engage with French culture. Each drink not only provides a taste of France’s rich history and exceptional spirits but also a perfect excuse to practice your French with friends or at local bars. Cheers to your French adventure!

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