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David Lebovitz

Drinking French

The Iconic Cocktails, Apéritifs, and Café Traditions of France, with 160 Recipes

Ten Speed Press 2002

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in FoodNew Books in French StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books Network April 14, 2020 Jennifer Eremeeva

Few experiences can top sitting in a Parisian cafe and watching the world go by, a glass of something at your elbow. But if...

Few experiences can top sitting in a Parisian cafe and watching the world go by, a glass of something at your elbow. But if you’ve ever gone inside the cafe and confronted the battalion of beautiful bottles behind the bar, you may have come to the reluctant conclusion that there is a whole world of French beverages beyond wine that you may never understand.

David Lebovitz to the rescue!

For decades, Lebovitz has guided readers of his many books and engaging website into the world of French cuisine and Parisian life with generosity and eloquence. In his latest book, Drinking French: The Iconic Cocktails, Apéritifs, and Café Traditions of France, with 160 Recipes (Ten Speed Press, 2020), Lebovitz takes us behind the classic zinc bar and explains what goes on there, from early morning coffee to late-night liqueurs. Drinking French unravels the mystery behind the jewel-tones of Pastis, Chartreuse, Vermouth, and Creme de Cassis, the addictive botanical notes of Lillet and Dubonnet, and the emerging craft beer scene in France.

With his signature aimable storytelling, Lebovitz crisscrosses France in search of distillers, infusers, and mixologists and into the annals of France’s history to ferret out the fascinating social history of aperitifs and liqueurs. And then there are the recipes: Lebovitz offers his own interpretation of mixed drinks adapted to home preparation, as well as easily-prepared snacks to accompany them. Each of the 160 recipes reminds his loyal readers that Lebovitz’s quest to create something that is more than the sum of its parts serves him—and us — very well. A thorough read of Drinking French will not only teach you French cafe and bar etiquette, but it will also entice you to dust off your grandmother’s cocktail shaker and some of those ancient bottles lurking at the back of your cupboard and mix up a potent concoction to take you from afternoon to evening in one smooth sip. There can surely be no better guide to this brave new beverage world than David Lebovitz.

David Lebovitz is an American chef and writer who lives in Paris. He is the recipient of Saveur’s first-ever Blog of the Decade Award in 2019. He is the author of nine books, including My Paris Kitchen, Ready for Dessert, and L’Appart. He writes about food and life on davidlebovitz.com.


Jennifer Eremeeva is an American expatriate writer who writes about travel, culture, cuisine and culinary history, Russian history, and Royal History, with bylines in Reuters, Fodor’s, USTOA, LitHub, The Moscow Times, and Russian Life. She is the award-winning author of Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow and Have Personality Disorder, Will Rule Russia: A Pocket Guide to Russian History.