3 French Cocktails to Summon Spring

Pink cocktails with lavender

Right now, it’s getting to the point in winter when I’m done with the vanilla-cinnamon-baking spice flavor palette that keeps us in a chokehold from October through April. I don’t want a hot toddy, and I don’t want a maple Old Fashioned. I want bright, vibrant colors to summon warm weather. So here are a couple of cocktail recipes that might just trick you into thinking it’s spring.

French Margarita

A French Margarita might sound like something of a contradiction. After all, a margarita needs tequila, which has to be made in Mexico. So how French could it be? Well, this version uses Aga Vie, a French spirit that blends tequila and cognac to create something entirely new, smooth and sippable. Now, add in some Piment d’Espelette liqueur from Giffard, which blends the Basque pepper so beloved by the French with rhum agricole to make this premium liqueur. The result is a spicy marg with a complex collection of flavors. Enjoy with a flaky salt rim.


2 oz Aga Vie

1 oz Piment d’Espelette liqueur

0.75 oz Lime juice

0.25 oz Simple syrup


Shake ingredients together with ice and pour into glass with salt rim. (Or a rim with a salt-piment d’espelette mixture.)

Saffron Martini

The delicate notes of saffron in a bottle of Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin should be given the freedom to fully express themselves with limited interference. That’s why this French gin works well in a gin and tonic or a martini. Pair with a whisper of the classic French vermouth Dolin Blanc, and enjoy.


3 oz Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin

0.5 oz Dolin Blanc


Stir ingredients with ice, then strain into a martini glass.

The French Blonde

This cocktail has been getting a lot of hype lately, for possibly being Taylor Swift’s favorite cocktail. But it also happens to be absolutely delicious. Grapefruit juice, St. Germain, Lillet Blanc… what more could you ask from this floral, citrusy cocktail? You can use a French gin like Osmoz or Generous, but if you’re having difficulty finding one then a classic London Dry gin like Bombay Sapphire will work just as well.


1 oz Gin  

0.75 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur 

0.5 oz Lillet Blanc

1.5 oz Fresh grapefruit juice  

1 dash lemon bitters  


Shake ingredients with ice, then strain into a coupe garnished with a slice of grapefruit.

Catherine Rickman is a writer, professional Francophile, and host of the Expat Horror Stories podcast. She is currently somewhere in Brooklyn with a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @catrickman, or on TikTok @catinthekitchen.

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