The Fourth of July holiday just passed, thus we have to wait until Labor Day for another holiday party weekend. But that’s too long from now! So, lets support our friends in France this weekend and throw some serious Bastille Day celebrations. Bastille Day is July 14 every year, and commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution. Here are three magnifique drinks to serve to at your soirees, as well as a fun local event if you want to go out to celebrate.
This is perhaps the most obvious drink on the list, as it’s the most well-known drink with “French” in the name. But it’s the drink’s wonderful, effervescent, elegant nature that makes it a party centerpiece. One note: some have said this should be made with Cognac instead of today’s normal gin (some also say that’s a French 76). Sub in if you’re feeling it. Also, omit the ice cubes if your sparkling wine is nicely chilled.
1 ounce gin
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
Chilled brut Champagne or sparkling wine
Orange slice, for garnish (optional)
1. Add one or two ice cubes to a flute. Add the lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin. Stir happily.
2. Top off the flute with Champagne. Carefully stir a few more times. Garnish with the lemon, and the orange if you’d like.
A lesser-known cocktail that I consider a classic (in its styling and balance and such), and a favorite of mine, this drink is highlighted by the celebrated French liqueur Chartreuse. The recipe is from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz.
1-1/2 ounce gin
3/4 ounce green Chartreuse
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
Lemon twist, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the gin, Chartreuse, and vermouth. Stir well.
2. Strain the mix into the glass. Twist the twist over the glass and drop it in.
Behind the wing-dings and fireworks of Bastille Day are people who persevered. That's why this drink from Wine Cocktails (it makes its mark via the addition of rosé wine) is such a fine match for the day, thanks to its name and to the wine, which originated in France. I hope I don’t need to say that you should be using a French rosé here. Because you should.
1 ounce vodka
2 ounces rosé
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the vodka, rosé, maraschino, and bitters. Stir well.
2. Strain the Perseverance into a cocktail glass.
Bastille Day Festivities at Bastille Cafe & Bar
Want to do a little out-of-the-house celebrating? Of course, Bastille Cafe & Bar in Ballard is the spot to hit. It's having a party that lasts from Saturday through Monday that takes place at the patio, the back bar and even a beer garden across the street. Expect all kinds of tasty fun, with a roast pig, bands (including the Djangomatics and The Verb), petanque, baguettes, perfect-for-summer rum cocktail, burlesque shows, Domaine Bichot sparkling rosé (Domaine Bichot is a French winemaker who has been around since 1831), and beer from Ballard-based Rueben’s Brews. Learn more here.