Old vs. New Craft Cocktails: the Evolution of the Bloody Mary in Paris

19 October 2015

Up until fairly recently, Paris was anything but a destination for cocktail enthusiasts. You could find bar classics at extortionate prices in luxury hotels, uber sweet Mojitos at no-name bars, but little else. But since the Experimental Group stoked a movement with the launch of the first Experimental Cocktail Club in 2007, the cocktails and spirits scene has undergone a drastic transformation. Today, Paris ranks among the world’s best cities for innovative craft cocktails and talented mixologists. Celebrating this exciting change is Doni Belau, founder of The Girl’s Guide to Paris, in her new book Paris Cocktails (Cider Mill Press). Belau not only covers the new wave of bars and bartenders but also a historical context that may surprise most readers (hint: a cocktail culture in the capital first emerged in the 1800s!). Here, the author shares a bit of background to one of the world’s most iconic cocktails and how it has been updated for today’s tastes. The classic Bloody Mary cocktail has come a long way from its creation in 1921 as a cure for a hangover to the various ingenious riffs on the recipe, which you can savor today in Paris or in your own home. Harry’s […]…

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Franco File Friday: Doni Belau, Girl’s Guide to Paris

4 May 2012

In recent weeks, I’ve been asked several times by both readers and new friends to share my Paris tale – why I came and how I was able to stay. With each iteration of the story, I feel two things: tremendously fortunate that the somewhat disparate elements of my journey commingled to create this life in the city I adore and completely overwhelmed by the realization that were it not for certain seminal choices I could be living a very different life, as a very different person. What would I be doing? For one, I’d likely try to follow Doni Belau’s example and split my time. The founder of the successful travel site Girl’s Guide to Paris fell hard for the capital over twenty years ago and has striven to return full time ever since.  Though she hasn’t (yet) become a permanent resident, she’s done the next best thing. Investing in a pied-à-terre in 2000 turned her go-to destination into a second home. Frequent trips with her girlfriends shortly after landing the apartment sparked the idea for Girl’s Guide which features restaurant reviews, recipes, shopping tips, lodging recommendations and cultural round-ups from a bevy of local contributors. I’ve never met […]…

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