happy hour in Paris…

Paris Cocktails

Well, for me any hour in Paris is “happy hour,” but the idea of channeling some jazz age glamour in the City of Light is an enticing proposition. Doni Belau who is the force behind the fabulous website Girls Guide To Paris has put together a compendium of some of the best craft cocktail bars in Paris as well as Paris-inspired cocktail recipes. Paris Cocktails is a beautiful glossy book, filled with images and reviews of Paris’ cocktail bars, recipes, notes about celebrations and traditions in France, and ideas for entertaining. It’s an elegant book that would make a lovely gift.

About three weeks ago we had the pleasure of attending a book signing and cocktail tasting at one of LA’s favorite French-themed restaurants, “The Little Door” in West Hollywood. The event was held out on the charming patio, and once everyone had arrived, we got right to tasting. The first up was a light and refreshing mix called “Bisous du Soleil” (Kisses of the Sun)…

Bisous du Soleil vodka cocktail

Next up was one that I can’t remember the name of at the moment, but it was made with a pepper-infused gin.

cocktails and canapes

It was the first time I’d had gin since a Very Bad Morning After when I was 21. And it was delicious! The canapés were very, very tasty too.

The last drink, “The Last Call” was my favorite, probably because it was whiskey based. In fact, there are only two ingredients, whiskey and hibiscus liqueur…

Bastille whiskey

The whiskey is French, and the liqueur from Brooklyn. The drink was served with a hibiscus flower floating in it…

Last Call cocktail with hibiscus liqueur

The hibiscus liqueur gave it a slightly spicy edge, and it probably would make a nice after-dinner digestif. As you can see, the tastings were small. If I’d had three full-sized cocktails le Monsieur would have had to take me out in a wheelbarrow!

We each received a copy of Paris Cocktails, which Doni signed. It was great to meet her too; we’ve exchanged emails in the past and had a nice chat about our favorite Paris experiences.

Le Monsieur kindly offered to donate his copy of the book for a blog giveaway, so without further ado, let’s get this party started!

To enter to win a signed copy of “Paris Cocktails” use the Rafflecopter widget below and…

  • Leave a comment here with your favorite cocktail (alcoholic or non-).

For optional additional entries:

C’est tout! Entries will be open for one week; I’ll draw at random and announce a winner on Tuesday February 23.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Emmy
    February 13, 2016 / 6:18 am

    Hot weather: Campari + soda, twist. Cold weather: scotch + splash of water.

  2. Rita
    February 13, 2016 / 6:34 am

    That last one sounds wonderful!

  3. Toni C
    February 13, 2016 / 7:16 am


  4. Diane S
    February 13, 2016 / 8:03 am

    I did a double take when I saw your post! I met Doni and received her book at the Chicago book signing!! What a fun and fascinating woman she is (not to mention those delicious cocktails!). I have not had a chance to make any yet but plan on it soon. Please don’t enter me in the drawing as I already have this lovely book, but would like to add my favorite beverage of choice lately is a bold red wine as our temperature hovers around 12 degrees!

  5. Kathleen
    February 13, 2016 / 8:14 am

    A classic Manhattan made with a fine bourbon – so elegant!

  6. Paula
    February 13, 2016 / 3:53 pm

    Hmmm….nobody said beer. I must be weird. But I love a cold, hand-crafted beer from our local brewery.

  7. Debra Johnson
    February 13, 2016 / 6:58 pm

    Kir Royale! Although I must say I had a very tasty gin drink last night….a Royal Street Gin & Tonic…..had ginger liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and was garnished with a sprig of rosemary.

  8. Valerie
    February 13, 2016 / 10:46 pm

    Vodka tonic.

  9. Julie Magnus
    February 14, 2016 / 2:52 am

    A refreshing Moscow Mule with ginger beer, served in a copper mug- garnished with fresh mint!

  10. Duchesse
    February 14, 2016 / 5:38 am

    The French really do not drink American-style cocktails all that much. though they have been taken up, like hamburgers. here and there. Most French hosts serve an apéro at home, such as a glass of champagne or pastis. If you try to get a cocktail in Paris, your best bet is a hotel bar or a specialized cocktail bar like The Rosebud or Le Scott (my absolute favourite) . The corner bistro does not offer them. In some circles a kir royale is considered hopelessly dated, go figure. I still find it a romantic, delightful drink.

    • une femme
      February 14, 2016 / 9:46 am

      Hi Duchesse, according to Doni that’s changing at least in Paris. The book lists several iconic and newer bars that specialize in craft cocktails. I’m looking forward to visiting some of them when we’re there in July.

      • Duchesse
        February 15, 2016 / 3:48 pm

        Yes, that is true Your typical good traditional bistro will not serve them; it’s a new thing. If you order a martini you will usually be served a small glass of Martini, the fortified wine.

  11. Denise
    February 14, 2016 / 6:53 am

    Love a brandy old fashioned press…with soda instead of 7 Up, which makes the drink too sweet.

  12. Darlene B.
    February 14, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    Love a good Crown Royal and coke for a relaxing after work cocktail with my Sweetie!

  13. February 14, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    Woodford Old Fashioned, extra bitters, pre-prohibition style.

  14. marsha calhoun
    February 14, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    A French 75, of course. Or a martini (gin, of course), up with both an olive and a lemon peel (my daddy made them that way).

  15. February 15, 2016 / 5:37 am

    what a delightful book.. I do hope I win, we are having a lot of company this year as my son is getting married in they summer. Thank you for the chance to win the book.

  16. Cher
    February 15, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    Margarita made with fresh squeezed lime and Cointreau is my favorite!

  17. Linda D.
    February 17, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    A Maker’s Mark Manhattan. Yum. And I, too, have a bad gin story. Doesn’t everyone?

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