Thursday 9 June 2016

Paris Inspired Cocktails

A little over 2 years ago I would have just returned from a trip to Paris as part of my birthday celebrations.

The whole trip was very rushed, trying to cram a day at Disneyland as well as a day in the city seeing all the sights. Unfortunately due to the amount of walking we did the day prior, my feet didn't hold out very long, and by mid afternoon I had to call it quits and resort back to our hotel room. Sad times, especially when in such a beautiful city.

It was frustrating to say the least. Being a massive explorer and knowing that Paris is well known for its cuisine, there were so many places I wanted to see and eat at. I saw so many little cafes, with tables lined outside, enabling you to admire the fast-paced city life whilst sipping on coffee and eating pastries in the warm sunshine. I think the closest we got to doing this was grabbing a (rather expensive) ice-cream from a vendor right next to the Eiffel Tower and then later at Planet Hollywood near to Disneyland. It obviously wasn't the same experience!

If I was to visit again I'd definitely do things differently. Skipping Disneyland would be something I would do (Disneyland just doesn't compare to Florida!). I'd spent more time in the city, sampling Parisian restaurants and soaking up a bit more of their culture.

Something else I unfortunately didn't get to try was a cocktail. Yep - a birthday weekend without a cocktail. Actually, I tell a lie - I had a mocktail in Planet Hollywood near to Disneyland, that's gotta count for something, right?! But being sat in a restaurant, full of children and artificial-ness wasn't really my idea of luxury. Instead it resembled something similar to a school dining hall.

There are so many swanky bars to experience in Paris, with so many skilled mixologists that it would be a shame to not experience both a cocktail and the environment it at least once! I will admit, there's also something appealing about watching a cocktail be created before your eyes. This got me thinking to making cocktails at home; something I don't do very often. I only tend to make cocktail pitchers when we're having family gatherings or social meet ups with friends, and they're rare these days. However, I've made a pledge to myself - this summer we'll be holding our very first BBQ (when I know the sun is gonna stick around for a few days!). At this BBQ, I am going to make a cocktail or two.. a Parisian inspired one, cos I'm posh like that.

The first one that really takes my fancy is The Parisian Sunset. That name in itself just evokes a lot of imagery for me. I love sunsets, and I loved (what I saw of) Paris, which makes this the perfect cocktail for me! It sounds elegant, looks simple yet sophisticated and is definitely an easy one to recreate at home!

30ml cognac
20ml Campari
30ml orange juice
50ml champagne
Orange twist
Wine glass.

The next Paris-inspired cocktail that really caught my eye (simply by the name!) was the Baton Rouge. Once upon a time when I first started going out 'clubbing' as we used to call it back then, there was a pub/bar/club called 'The Baton Rouge' in my local town. I've spent many a nights in there and collected some really good memories. This bar closed down a few years ago so I'm quite happy to let my memories live on through a cocktail instead!

The Baton Rouge cocktail...

1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
20ml Sweet vermouth
20ml Xanté Liqueur
20ml VSOP cognac
20ml Gold rum
Garnish: 1 Lemon twist
Glass: Cocktail

I can imagine this to be a little more powerful in flavour than the previous cocktail, what do you think?

Upon reading 'Insider City Guides', published by The Times and Sunday Times, JJ Goodman (above) was inspired to create his own Parisian themed cocktails, based on the '6 coolest bars in the city' of Paris, according to the Insider's guides.

Do you make cocktails at home? Have you ever visited Paris before?


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