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More Paris Cafe Drinks for Hot Summer Nights

Okay, so the waiter at one of the Rue Mouffetard cafes told me “Mojitos have been around forever,” which is true, especially if forever begins in the 1980s, but according to Wiki, there’s been a resurgence of Mojitos – and judging by the number of mojitos I’ve seen in outdoor cafes at cocktail hour, the ‘mojito’ is going strong.

Here in Paris, they fill up the glass with almost as many mint leaves as you’re likely to find in your mint julep at the Kentucky derby (but definitely not as much alcohol!).

Here are some lighter selections to add to my last post re: cafe drinks.
Thanks Parisloguers for adding Orangina to the list.
Orangina is carbonated but non-alcoholic.
You can ask for a
Schweppes avec citron if you just want to play the part.
Liptonic – does for Lipton tea what Mountain Dew does for cafeine.
(the ultimate sugar rush)
You’ll note that more and more French kids are drinking:
Coke! and even Pepsi.

On the other hand, don’t assume that you’ll find ‘Diet Coke’ or ‘Diet Pepsi’. Not impossible, but not the norm.

You’ll also note that if you’re not at a wine bar, you’ll find very few people drinking a glass of white wine as an aperatif. Drinking white wine in a cafe still carries a tinge of ‘low life alkie’. Order a kir instead, if you want to fit in. Even though more and more cafes are getting used to the idea of people ordering glasses of wine with the new no drinking and driving laws, there’s still a lot of very mediocre white wine being served in cafes that won’t make your evening very pleasant.

Plain old ice tea? Forget about it.

Ever since the 2003 heat wave, I’ve noticed that more and more cafes/restaurants are willing to provide iced water in a carafe, but don’t expect drinks overflowing with crushed ice.

Super-chilled drinks are not the norm. Even champage is not served overchilled. Too cold and you won’t capture all of a champagne’s flavor.

Headed to La Rochelle? Try a ‘pineau’, an cognac version fruit juice.
Headed to Normandy? Try a pommeau, a blend of Calvados and cider.

Here are some other aperatifs that one friend would call ‘sweet and sticky’:
Sweet Vermouth on the rocks
Martini (which is Sweet Vermouth on the rocks! if you order it in France, not a martini as you know it in the US)
And by all means, if you’re in a wine bar, try a Coteaux de Layon which is a sem-sweet white wine that you can drink very respectably.

Other toasts:
‘Chinn-chinn’ (imitating the sound of crystal clinking)
‘A tes amours’ (to all your loves)
-A l’amitie’ (to friendship)
-A ta sante or A votre sante (if it’s a business acquaintance)
-and with old friends:
‘Cul sec’ Bottoms up. (but a little bit more graphic)