Afternoon Cocktails

December 14, 2008 by  

You can only do so much with those hours between lunch and dinner in France. Sure, there’s historic sites to visit and shops to meander through, but you sure work up a thirst being a tourist. Afternoon cocktails became more the norm than the exception while we were in France.


Muscat is a grape known for it’s intensely floral and fruity aromas. It can be made into a dry table wine, but it is also fortified which makes it a great aperitif. It was served in a flute and chilled with two ice cubes. My mother likened the taste to white Dubonnet. The muscat was not syrupy at all. It was very smooth and refreshing. A sweet drink, it made a nice afternoon treat before leaving the town of Carcassonne.

The experience closer to home? Perhaps you can track down La Frenz NV Liqueur Muscat. La Frenz winery is on the Naramata bench and this wine scooped up a bunch of metals in various competitions. It’s fortified to 18.5% and a sweet treat. If you would prefer to try a drier, table version, Joie winery, also in Naramata, makes a slightly off-dry Muscat.


Pastis, a is a cloudy, milky-looking, anise-flavoured aperitif. It’s one of France’s most popular beverages, with annual sales pouring out about 130 million litres of the stuff.

It was served in a skinny, tall glass with a couple cubes of ice and a small pitcher of water. It falls into the same category with Perinod, Sambuca, Ouzo and other licorice-tasting liquors. It reminded me of being in Greece, so was a suitable order for an afternoon in the Mediterranean. However, after too many late nights in Greece when shots of Ouzo would come out, I found it a bit too early to be drinking the familiar flavour.

My brother-in-law had the bright idea to mix it with his Fanta Orange pop, which made a surprisingly refreshing cocktail. Just don’t tell the French what we did to their favourite liquour.


If you’re more a lover of bitter than sweet, perhaps you’d enjoy a Campari. Although the exact recipe is a secret, it is known to be made from herbs, plants and fruit infused in water and alcohol. The Italian drink is a common aparatif, but a bit too medicinal for my tastes.


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