Must-Try Cocktails in Paris

By Rachael Funk


There are a million things to do in Paris. After a fast-paced day of dashing through the city to catch trains or squeeze in one last unforgettable sight, you’re ready to unwind. When it’s time to trade your walking shoes for heels, here are a few ideas on how to indulge like a Parisian with cocktails invented in the City of Light.

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French 75

Made with gin, champagne, lemon juice, and sugar, this effervescent cocktail is refreshing and zippy. Invented at legendary Harry’s New York Bar during World War I, the drink was named after the French 75mm gun as a reference to how strong it is. The bar is still going strong, so stop by the birthplace of this classic to sip an original!

Hours:

12 PM – 2 AM, Monday – Saturday and 4 PM – 1 AM on Sundays

Address:

Harry’s New York Bar
5 Rue Daunou
75002 Paris, France


Sidecar

This straightforward cocktail is a mix of cognac or brandy, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. While there is hot debate about which Parisian bar thought of it first, we suggest sipping one at Bar Hemingway in Paris’s Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Hours:

6 PM – 2 AM every day

Address:

Bar Hemingway
15 Place VendĂ´me
75001 Paris, France


The Rose

This vibrant choice combines dry vermouth, Kirsch, and strawberry or raspberry syrup. It is usually served in a martini glass, garnished with a cherry. Thought up at the Chatham Hotel in the 1920s, it has been popular ever since. If you want to savor one of these, or any number of inventive cocktails, stop by Le Glass for a trendy late night party.

Hours:

7 PM – 4 AM, Sunday – Thursday and 7 PM – 5 AM, Friday – Saturday

Address:

Le Glass
7 Rue Frochot
75009 Paris, France


Tremblement de Terre (The Earthquake)

A creation attributed to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, this cocktail is a simple combination of half cognac, half absinthe, swirled in a wine glass. A variation to make this harsh elixir more drinkable is to use a brandy snifter instead of a wine glass and add an ice cube or splash of cold water. Be sure to swirl diligently to avoid eye-tearing.

Though it is possible Toulouse-Lautrec didn’t come up with this during his time in France, the work he created on commission from the famous Moulin Rouge is enough for his cocktail to make this list. If you are feeling wild (and can get tickets), why not try this potent mix at the actual Moulin Rouge?

Hours:

Vary based on tickets

Address:

Moulin Rouge
82 Boulevard de Clichy
75018 Paris, France


Le Maudit Français

This cocktail is the invention of Gwladys Gublin of the Experimental Cocktail Club. It calls for Armagnac, sherry, orange juice, maple syrup, champagne, a dash of bitters, and orange zest. The name, which means “Bloody French,” could be an insult or a compliment, depending on how it is used. Enjoy one of these craft cocktails at the innovative speakeasy-style bar.

Hours:

7 PM – 2 AM, Monday – Thursday; 7 PM – 4 AM, Friday – Saturday; 8 PM – 2 AM, Sunday

Address:

Experimental Cocktail Club
37 Rue Saint-Sauveur
75002 Paris, France


Dirty Margarita

Named after the hauntingly eerie club in David Lynch’s film, “Mulholland Drive,” Silencio is a members-only club in Paris that shakes up intricate cocktails devised for the exclusive use of this exciting venue. Rob McHardy’s Dirty Margarita involves tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, salted caper juice, agave syrup, and lime zest. If you don’t happen to be friends with a member, you might still get in! Dress all the way up in the latest Parisian fashion and arrive around midnight, when the bar opens to the general public. Look for the velvet rope and the doorman who will let you in if he likes your look. Good luck!

Hours:

6 PM – 4 AM, Tuesday – Thursday; 6 PM – 6 AM, Friday – Saturday; Members only until midnight

Address:

Silencio
142 Rue Montmartre
75002 Paris, France

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