Post by Jenny Bailey
During the Christmas season, Paris is brimming with festive merriment – especially when it comes
to beverages. In the period leading up to Christmas, locals traditionally meet up with their friends
and loved ones for a seasonal drink. Bars are full of people laughing, joking and toasting each other’s
good health « á ta santé! » With some of the best cocktails in the world invented in the City of Lights,
there are plenty of places suitable for a Christmas knees-up. Here are some of my festive favorites :
Mulled Wine on the Champs Élysées
Paris’ largest Christmas market takes place on the Champs Élysées and is a great place to pick up
a cup of mulled wine, known in France as vin chaud. This winter beverage is typically made from
red wine, sugar, cinnamon and lemon and isn’t typically as sweet as some other countries’ recipes.
With a cup of warm wine in hand, visitors can browse the many stalls for French seasonal souvenirs,
which include gingerbread and Bûche de Noël.
White Lady at Harry’s New York Bar
Swap your snowball for a cocktail that looks far more festive, (and tastes much better too). The
White Lady, made with gin, Cointreau, lemon juice and egg whites, is amongst several famous
cocktails that were invented in Harry’s New York Bar on Rue Danou. These concoctions include
the Sidecar, the French 75 and, it is often disputed – the Bloody Mary. The glamorous bar was
formerly frequented by the likes of Rita Hayworth, Humphrey Bogart and even James Bond is a fan,
proclaiming it the best place in Paris to get a solid drink.
Glass Slippers at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris holidays are magical around Christmas time – the parades, the lighting of the tree ceremony and even
the novelty Santa hats resplendent with Mickey Mouse ears. The resort is also a surprisingly
good place to get a cocktail, and there are plenty of themed bars around Eurodisney Paris to choose from. At the
Disneyland Hotel, befriend the staff at Café Fantasia and see if they’ll mix you up a Glass Slipper
which consists of prosecco, crème de violette and white rum. This is one cocktail which will make
you feel like a princess this holiday season.
Cranberry Mojitos at Ave Maria
Lest we forget the true meaning of Christmas, there’s always Ave Maria. What could be more fitting
around Christmas time than raising a glass or two in a bar named after the mother of Jesus? The
cocktails here are as quirky as the décor, which is themed around Hindu Gods. One of the most
famous creations is Agua Borabora served with mango, kiwi, vodka and champagne, but as it’s
Christmas go for something slightly more festive like a Cranberry Mojito.
Bloody Mary at the Ritz
With the Christmas drinking follows the inevitable Christmas hangover and we’ve yet to find a better cure than the Bloody Mary. There’s a bit of a disagreement in Paris over which bar first invented the Bloody Mary, the Ritz or Harry’s New York, but one thing we do know is that both bars make an excellent version. This Christmas tipple is an essential part of the holiday season and the elegant surroundings of the Ritz will certainly make that hangover a bit more bearable.
These are just a few of the many seasonal cocktails that you can sample in Paris. With a whole host
of traditional wine bars and many Christmas markets located around Paris, this is one city that has
seasonal drinking covered – Santé!