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What Are Some Of The Best Drinks In France, Apart From Wine?

French people are passionate about everything, including their food, their art, their culture and of course their drinks.

Historically, the French have been associated with the finer things in life like French fashion, French fragrances and French wine. They have admirers all over the globe.

So here is a list of some of the best drinks the French consume apart from wine:

  1. Benedictine

Benedictine is an herbal liqueur but unlike other herbal liqueurs, it’s not medicinal. It was first developed by Alexandre Le Grand in 19th century. Benedictine is truly a unique drink flavoured with a secret concoction of 27 flowers, berries, herbs and spices. 

  1. Chambord

Chambord Liqueur Royale de France is made with raspberries, blackberries and Madagascan vanilla steeped in cognac. It is produced at a chateau in the Loire Valley of France. It’s a fruity drink which makes a good base for cocktails, especially “Sex on the Beach.”

  1. Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is an orange scented, Cognac based spirit. It is first produced by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle in 1880. Grand Marnier is a blend of cognac brandy, distilled essence of orange and sugar and have 40 percent ABV. It is popular as a straight up drink, on the rocks or in a cocktail making it the perfect accompaniment for crepes, patisseries, and Christmas cake.

  1. Absinthe

Absinthe also known as “la fée verte” meaning the Green Fairy due to its natural green colour (it may also be colourless) was originally made in Switzerland. It was in 19th century that France started producing the aniseed tasting liqueur. Traditional absinthe is made from grand wormwood, together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs.

  1. Calvados

Calvados is a variety of brandy which is made from apples and sometimes pears also. It is produced predominantly in the Normandy region of France. Specially grown and selected apples from over 200 different varieties are fermented to make apple cider. It is then distilled and aged in oak casks, where they remain for at least two years to be classifies as calvados.

  1. Eaux de Vie

French for ‘water for life’, Eaux de Vie is a clear, colourless fruit brandy, made from fruit other than grapes. Ripe fruit is fermented, distilled twice and quickly bottled to preserve the freshness and aroma of the parent fruit. They are typically not aged in wooden casks, hence they are colourless. Eaux de vie is usually served after a meal. 

  1. Chartreuse

Chartreuse is a popular herbal liqueur made by Carthusian Monks since 1737. It got its name from the monks’ Grande Chartreuse monastery. It is available in green and yellow versions. Both Green Chartreuse and Yellow Chartreuse use a secret blend of 130 herbs, plants and flowers which are only known by two Chartreuse monks and they alone supervise the entire process.

Green Chartreuse (110 proof or 55% ABV) is the only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green colour and Yellow Chartreuse (80 proof or 40% ABV) has a milder and sweeter flavour and aroma than green Chartreuse.

  1. Pastis

Pastis, an anise-flavoured aperitif is found in almost every French house. Typically containing 40–45% ABV and less than 100 g/l sugar, it is generally quite sweet. Paul Ricard commercialized Pastis in 1932. It was a popular replacement for the banned Absinthe, as it had the same flavours.

Pastis means “mixed.” Some believe that refers to the blending of flavours used to create it and some believe that refers to the water you need to add in order to get your flavour to flow out.

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