Paris -ordering cocktails
i'm in Paris now and at home in CA i usually drink martinis, vodka with soda etc. here i've been drinking wine so far but i see on menus just vodka
for example today at ritz
vodka- belvedere or grey goose 12 euro
if i order that what do i get? just a shot of vodka? mix? ice?
If you go to the right places (Ritz, Experimental cocktail club and offshhots( you can find a decent old fashioned, martini, cosmopolitan, etc. Paris also has a tradition of its own cocktails and aperitifs, but that are becoming more and more difficult to find. They need your support.
Their are lots of French or Parisian Cocktails, aperitfs, and drinks. There's the kir, which should be made with Bourgogne Aligote, but is generally made with the cheapest white wine on the premisis. There's the Communard, which is like a Kir, but made with red wine.
There are Gentiane based drinks, the most common being Suze, but I prefer the less sweet Salers, that comes in three different strengths. You can tell by the colour of the cap. Yellow's the weakest, green's the strongest.
There are different kinds of sweet and fortified wines - Lillet, Byrrh. I know these less well.
There's the different kinds of pastis - Pernod, Ricard, Pastis 51, Casanis, and then the dozens artisinal brands. There are also a number of cocktails that use pastis as their base: 'tomate', with grenadine, 'perroquet', mint, 'mauresque', orgeat, or almond cordial.
The French also make drinks with beer. There's a panaché, where it's mixed with lemonade. A monaco, is with lemonade and grenadine. I like the Picon Biere, where the beer's mixed with Picon a kind of orange bitters.
Last month in Paris, I had more than my fair share of cocktails (classics and newer creations) at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome. The ingredients are top notch and the bartenders very skilled and well trained. Tops in all regards. Expensive.
Crowd is about 50-50 Parisians and visitors. Sit in the beautiful bar area or outdoors in the central patio area. Fun and delicious. Great for pre-dinner cocktails or end of the evening drinks.
Le Fumoir is the only place in Paris (to my knowledge) that serves descent Martinis. The "experimental cocktail club" probably does them well but I never had one there.
Most places in Paris will serve you straight Martini from the bottle (aka pure vermouth) if you order a Martini.
Personally I like a cocktail once in a while, but if you come from the States where you can get good cocktails pretty much everywhere, I'd stick with the wine in France.
Just my two cents.
re: Rio Yeti
Well... I've been to La Famille... And although their cocktail was the least disappointing thing of the night (the pseudo-molecular food, was unbalanced and imprecise) I can't say I loved it.
The cocktail in itself wasn't bad, but the dry ice (or is it liquid nitrogen ?) put under the glass so that it smokes, the little "mikado" cookie, and the little candies sitting in a plastic bowl inside the glass seemed all like they were trying too hard to make something "different". And in my opinion it fell flat.
For me, the best cocktail experience in Paris was definitely at the Experimental Cocktail Club, where they serve amazing quality cocktails done with only the best of alcohols and produce, served by a very knowledgeable (and passionate) staff. Both their modern creations and the classics are truly spot on. (it's the only bar I've ever seen were the waiters take a straw to taste a small drop of the cocktail before serving it to you, as any chef would do, to make sure it's done right).