France

Paris

Paris, France's capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.

dancing with locals, a bar from new york and a visit to the red light district

 

In this episode I go Four Sheets in Paris, France. From the top of the Eiffel Tower I head down to wander through the streets to a secret watering hole called a guinguette. Then it's off to get smarter on French spirits at the Vintage Spirits Garage. We depart from one of the oldest bars in Paris to visit a true neighborhood bar for several Pastis cocktails. Once we learn the (not so) secret password it's off Harry's New York Bar and after that it's blur to try a new spirit, party in the red light district and cure hangovers with oysters and champagne.

Well known for culture, history and passion

Episode Teaser

A Little Episode Teaser
Location Guide

A Little More About Each Stop

La Guinguette de l'île du Martin Pêcheur

A few miles from the city center along the Seine River is La Guinguette de l'île du Martin Pêcheur. Guinguettes used to be a way to dodge the steep alcohol taxes in the city. Now they’re places people come to eat, drink, and dance with live music. We ate river fish with mussels and fries and drank the establishment’s namesake: a sour white wine known as La Guinguette.

La Guinguette Website

La Cinquante

This cocktail bar introduced me to Pastis - another anise flavored spirit like Uzo or Genepi, but it uses star anise instead of green anise, includes sugar, and has no wormwood. Like absinthe, Pastis is served diluted with water. I tried it neat, which no one recommended, and now I don't either. Instead, try it with water! Or mint syrup (called a parrot) or grenadine (called a tomato).

La Cinquante On Facebook

Resto-zinc Les Marcheurs de Planète

Resto-zinc is housed in a 400-year-old building, and it’s a restaurant as well as a wine shop. I was excited to try Calvados: a French spirit made with apples. It doesn’t really taste like apples, it’s not a liquor (no sugar) - it’s definitely a spirit, similar to an apple brandy. It must be made in the Calvados region of France to be called Calvados.

Resto-zinc Les Marcheurs de Planète Website

Marché Bastille

For our hangover cure, first we headed to Marché Bastille, an open-air market in Paris, where we pick up some fresh oysters to bring with us to La Cave.

Vintage Spirit Garage

Vintage Spirit Garage boasts a collection of the country’s finest spirits. We learned about French vermouth and tried Genepi liqueur - a wormwood spirit related to absinthe. Like many herbaceous spirits, including absinthe, it began as a medicine.

Vintage Spirit Garage Website

Harry’s New York Bar

If you want to go to Harry’s, just tell the cabbie the secret code: “sank roo doe noo.” That’s the address of the bar, 5 Rue Daunou, written phonetically so English-speaking tourists can find their way. It’s one of the most storied bars of the world - the Bloody Mary was invented here in the early 1920s, and the original head barman, Harry, was known to be friendly, welcoming, and charming to all visiting patrons. I had, of course, a Bloody Mary, as well as a French 75.

Harry New York Bar on Facebook

Lulu White Drinking Club

Located in Paris’s famous red light district (now a mix of nightclubs, sex shops and bars) Lulu White’s is a New Orleans themed bar named for the famous Madame, Lulu White. One signature cocktail is the grasshopper, a New Orleans classic. Made with creme de menthe, creme de cacao, and heavy cream, grasshoppers go down easy. Of course we also had some absinthe - the spirit that made this area famous when it became popular with artists when France ran out of wine.

La Cave

Located in Paris’s famous red light district (now a mix of nightclubs, sex shops and bars) Lulu White’s is a New Orleans themed bar named for the famous Madame, Lulu White. One signature cocktail is the grasshopper, a New Orleans classic. Made with creme de menthe, creme de cacao, and heavy cream, grasshoppers go down easy. Of course we also had some absinthe - the spirit that made this area famous when it became popular with artists when France ran out of wine.

La Cave Website

Now Where Did They Go?
Drink Recipes

Drink What We Drank

Génépi

This Savoyard liqueur is made from the Génépi aromatic plants from the genus Artemesia (commonly called Wormwood) that grow in the high mountains of the Alps

Bonal Gentiane Quina

This aperitif wine has been in production since 1865. It was also an early sponsor of the Tour de France. It is made by an infusion of gentian, cinchona (quinine) and renowned herbs of the Grand Chartreuse mountains in a Mistelle base.

La Suprême Denoix

Made from the juice of green walnuts picked at the end of June and aged in oak casks, Armagnac and sugar syrup cooked over a wood fire make it a unique liquor.

French 75

Also originated at Harry's

1/3 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz simply syrup
1.5 oz Gin
2.5 oz of Champagne

Combine lemon juice, simple syrup and Gin a shaker over ice, shake and pour into a tulip Champagne glass. Pour Champagne and garnish with lemon.

Calvados

Calvados is an apple or pear brandy from the Normandy region in France.

Learn more

Absinthe

More Absinthe, more party.

This high alcohol content anise flavored spirit is a wildly misunderstood spirit that deserves a try. Gather friends and simply mix with water - enjoy!

Pastis

An anise flavored spirit that is served diluted with water.

Recipes we tried:

The Parrot
1 oz. mint syrup
1 oz. Pastis
top with chilled water add a couple ice cubes

The Tomato
0.5 oz of grenadine
2 oz Pastis
top with chilled water add a couple ice cubes

Bloody Mary

Today the Bloody Mary has unlimited recipe variations but Harry's is known for the birth of the Bloody Mary.

• Salt, cayenne pepper, and
• 6 dashes of Worstershire
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
• 2 oz. vodka
• 2 oz. tomato juice

Create this in the glass starting with 4 dashes of salt, 2 of cayenne, and 2 dashes of black pepper (not cracked pepper). Add the Worstershire, lemon, vodka, and finally the tomato juice.

Grasshopper

1 oz Creme de Menth
1 oz White Creme de Cacao
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

Add ingredients into blender and blend until thick but creamy. Garnish with mint.

And What Did They Drink?

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