Just like other countries, France serves up a variety of commonly known drinks and international brand names, along with their own home grown liquid refreshments, some of which are world famous!
France remains a tour de force when it comes to wine making, boasting more than a dozen wine making regions, including Bordeaux, Champagne, Loire, Burgundy and Languedoc. These regions produce red and white wines, using famous varieties of grape such as Merlot, Chablis, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. The wines are labelled after the region and vineyard that produced them, and often categorised using the variety of grape used. Famous name wines include Claret, Beaujolais, and Rosé, along with Champagne brands, Dom Perignon, Laurent Perrier, Moet, and Krug.
Wine doesn’t stand alone in French food and drink culture though, as the French also produce some high quality liqueurs. These include Pastis, which is anise flavoured, Cointreau, a famous triple sec liqueur, Crème De Menthe, which is minty, and fruit based liqueurs including Crème De Framboise (raspberry). There’s also an old recipe for Benedictine, a herbal liqueur which contains 27 herbs and spices.
Some of these liqueurs can stand alone as pre or post dinner drinks, or be added to cocktails, some of which were invented in France. Examples include the Black Rose Cocktail with French Vermouth, the Kir or Kir Royale which uses blackcurrant liqueur, and Delice De France which mixes the French blue curacao with vodka, campari, and whipped cream. There’s also the Sidecar which was invented in Paris and uses lemon juice, triple sec, and brandy.
Brandy production is something else the French excel at, and they produce three internationally known varieties. Cognac is the most widely known of these, and is categorised according to its age, while there’s also Calvados, an apple brandy from Normandy, and Armagnac, which is produced in the west of France. This comes in Haut Armagnac, Bas Armagnac, and La Tenareze varieties.
The drinks mentioned above aren’t always favoured by young people though, who often opt for beer as their drink of choice. A popular international brand is Kronenbourg, who produce the 1664 lager, while there are also a collection of beers known as Bieres De Garde, which include 3 Monts, and Ch’ti varieties.
Although the choices of wines, spirits, and liqueurs will vary from region to region, coffee and water are generally the most popular non-alcoholic drinks throughout France. French coffee is often brewed using high quality Arabica beans and comes in all the common varieties, such as black, white, expresso, and cappuccino. Meanwhile, popular mineral water brands include Volvic, Evian, and Perrier, with soft drinks menus also including locally produced fruit juices and fizzy drinks.
All in all, France can cater for any drink requirement, from the perfect drink to start the day, a lunchtime tipple, or the perfect wine to go with a meal, so there’s no excuse not to quench your thirst.