The Parisian Cocktail

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Paris at night from Notre Dame

I am one of those strange Americans who actually like the French, and Paris is my favorite city. I will never, however, be a Parisian. Aside from the fact that I do not live there, Paris is like a private club of which you can never become a member. Being French wouldn’t help, either, so I don’t feel quite so bad. The club is that exclusive. 

The Parisian Cocktail is another from Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930. Whether it is a Craddock original or something he borrowed from someone else, I do not know. It is an equal parts cocktail of Gin, French (dry) vermouth, and créme de cassis, a liqueur made from black currants whose most popular application is in a Kir or Kir Royale—an aperitif composed of créme de cassis and white wine or champagne. 

Unless you really like cocktails that taste of black currant preserves, you will need to modify the proportions. The recipe below keeps the equal parts of gin and vermouth and simply reduces the cassis, which I find to be a nice compromise.

1 ½ oz Dry Vermouth

1 ½ oz Gin

½ oz Créme de Cassis

Stir (Craddock says shake, but I don’t see the point) with ice until cold and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish is mentioned.

This is still a drink that leans towards the sweet side with the cassis doing its best to steal the scene. However, if you reduce the cassis too much, the drink will taste as if something is not quite right with your vermouth. 

While you might never be a Parisian, at least you can drink one.

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A votre santé.