French bar drinks

A quick selection of the drinks that French people actually drink at the bar - there's more to life than coke and beer! I have to admit, just between you and me, that I can't drink the liquorice type spirits like Pastis. I prefer a Monaco for a nice thirst quenching drink, and the children love a diabolo menthe.Try them all, see which you enjoy...


Take a dash of grenadine syrup, add 1 part lemonade and stir, then add 2 parts lager.  Nice, cool and pink!

Diabolo menthe

If you want to drink the same soft drink as the French, ask for a 'diabolo menthe' - the ever popular bright green drink, especially loved by children. Green mint syrup in lemonade.

Note: Originally I called this drink a diablo menthe, until the mistake was pointed out to me. The correct spelling is diabolo menthe not diablo menthe, although diablo is a very common mis-spelling (more than 25,000 people have it wrong, according to google! I hope your pronunciation is better than mine because 'diablo' and 'diabolo' sound very similar when I say them.)

Similar, but made with green mint syrup in ice cold water, is 'menthe a l'eau'.


I can't explain my problem with Pastis, I think it is an acquired taste that I never acquired. However Pastis is the most famous of French drinks, and you should at least try it. Perhaps with practice I could adjust, but for now I'm sticking with a monaco, thanks...

Pastis is basd on anise, and has its roots in absinthe, the drink so beloved of 19th century France (read L'Assommoir by Zola to learn of its many benefits!). A heady brew made from various herbs, pastis is a drink to be sipped on a hot afternoon rather than knocked back in one go at the end of the evening. Very thirst quenching, they tell me.

To enjoy pastis at home (can it be enjoyed outside France?) or on the terrace of you holiday villa, mix about 1 part Pastis to 4 parts water, and add some ice.