Voulez-vous quelque choses à boire?

I’ve always been rather envious of people who to get to nip abroad. When I nip it usually involves a trip to the supermarket, collecting something from the dry cleaners, or maybe lunch with friends. However, this week I was fortunate enough to be presented with the opportunity to ‘nip’ to Paris.

It was the first time I’d been as an adult and I gained a new appreciation for the architecture, the people, the ambiance, and with some supplementary education from the family, the history. But also for the first time, that my goodness the French can, and do know how to drink.

So I thought I'd share my musings with all of you but please please note the importance of always drinking responsibly. For women - that's 14 units per week, and for men  21 (they have more of the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme needed to metabolise alcohol). It is also advisable to have a minimum of two alcohol free days per week. If you're confused, I'd recommend checking out the lowdown here.

Firstly, like many Londoners, I was dazzled by the never-failing quality of Parisian wine. The French simply do not do plonk and enjoying un verre de vin is about quality. This allowed me to get a much better idea about what people mean by the legs, the colours, the aromas, the bodies, the texture and etc of different types of wine. Opening my eyes to a whole new world.

What’s more they drink it absolutely everywhere! Whether they are in cafés, fine dining, out for a drink or even just waiting for a train – this alcoholic fermented grape juice is clearly the city’s drink of choice!

Then there’s another fabulous and quintessentially French addition to cuisine – les apéritif – the purpose being to wet the diner’s appetite before their meal with the most common example at least in this country being champagne. But in fact there is a whole array of these pre-dinner tasters, many of which I had never come across. To name a few there is Kir (don't miss those available at the Emporio Armani Cafe), Pastis (aniseed-flavoured heaven) and Picon. Then the Italians have cottoned on adding Campari (serve it with soda and a slice of orange – my grandparent's apéritif of choice), Cinzano and Suze, as have the Spaniards with Sherry and the Greeks with Ouzo!
Campari soda

Bonne apéritif! x

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