Hump Day Happy Hour: Pastis Cocktail for Bastille Day

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Part 2 of my July cocktail series featuring thirst-quenching libations every Wednesday this month. Glug, glug, glug, glug…

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Frankly, today is a bit unmotivating to contribute to my summer cocktail series with all this dark, gloomy weather. But who am I to complain when we’ve enjoyed nothing but gorgeous sunny weather for the past few weeks? All the while, the notoriously perfect weather SoCal had been suffering with their own dreary skies. So now it’s our turn. Despite this over-extended June gloom, the show must go on!

Today marks the French national holiday that we gringos refer to as “Bastille Day” or commonly referred to in France as “le quatorze Juillet”. I’m torn on whether or not I should give you the long-winded explanation of this holiday or the Cliff’s Notes version. I vote for the latter. Bastille Day is essentially the French equivalent of our Independence Day which we similarly refer to as 4th of July. It marks the uprising of the modern nation. Blah, blah, blah. Read about it folks.

I know you didn’t sign up for a history lesson so let’s bring on the alcohol! At the risk of a mass retaliation against what I’m about to say, I have to be honest – the cocktails in France are merde (this is what it means). Okay, I’m being a bit harsh but based on my experiences and those of my wonderful partner in crime, the cocktails are certainly nothing to write home about. But who cares? They already have amazing cuisine, fabulous wine and over 1,000 varieties of awesome cheese. They can’t be good at everything.

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However, I do particularly enjoy an ice cold glass of pastis. It’s a refreshing aperitif with strong hints of anise and licorice, which back in my hay days, all the flavors that I was not especially keen on. In fact, pastis is the only licorice-type flavor to grace my taste buds even to this day. He introduced me to this delightful little beverage almost two years ago when we were in Paris. We just finished what seemed like a ten course dinner at his cousin’s apartment and in order to “make room” for the cheese platter, she served his favorite drink mixed with Perrier. And golly gee willikers, it actually worked!

Our pantry is always stocked with a bottle or two of pastis (we prefer Henri Bardouin) because if you want to keep a French man happy, this is key. Well, that and an overflowing stock of wine and cheese. But you get my point.

Although we usually prefer our pastis the classic way (mixed with 4 parts water), there are a few pastis hybrids that add a nice little twist. Le perroquet (the parrot) is probably the most popular of all cocktails and on hot summer days, it’s absolutely invigorating! Santé!
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Ingredients:

1 part pastis
4 parts Perrier
a dash of mint syrup
  1. In a rocks glass, combine pastis and water. Add a dash of mint syrup and ice. Serve with a mint garnish and red currants (for color).

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