The season of summer begs for long days outside, especially with a cold drink by your side. If you are anything like me, you love a day à la plage and will spend as much time as you can smelling the salty waves with your feet buried in the sand. While New England has no shortage of shoreline, in this post we toast to those of France and the Francophone world.

If you enjoyed last summer’s post about pairing food and French songs, this summer we bring you a pairing of cocktails and beaches around la Francophonie. Even if you won’t be traveling this summer, making one of these cocktails will surely transport you to the appropriate space!

Kir royal & Cassis

Kir royal is a simple yet elegant French cocktail made with champagne and crème de cassis, also known as black currant. This drink pairs nicely with the town of the same name as one of the ingredients! Situated on the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea east of Marseille, the town of Cassis is a must-see for those who enjoy their beaches with a side of cliffs (falaises) and inlets (calanques).

French Martini & Antibes

The town of Antibes on the Côte d'Azur, or French Riviera, boasts 48 beaches, the glamorous hotel Hôtel du Cap-Eden Roc, and several yacht harbors for the wealthiest customers to park their sea vessels. A sophisticated town like Antibes requires a sophisticated drink. Enter the French martini. This twist on the regular martini includes vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord.


Gin and Tonic & Arcachon

Arcachon is a town in Southwestern France nestled on the Atlantic coast. It is known for its fabulous beaches, original architecture, the largest sand dune in Europe (la Dune du Pilat), and fresh oysters. While most of us may think to pair oysters with champagne or a dry white wine, did you know that gin and tonics are also a great cocktail to pair with these salty bivalves? You can even serve your raw oysters with a delectable gin and tonic dressing for a twist on this combo!

Cocktail Soleil & la Grande Plage in Saint-Malo

Don’t think whisky and the beach go together? Think again! Saint-Malo, a walled coastal town in the region of Bretagne in Northwest France, is a charming place to spend a day at the beach and also explore the historical remains that date from the 1st century BC. The region is known for its many culinary treats, including a whisky made from buckwheat called eddu. “The sun cocktail” is a great drink to pour after a day at the beach. Enjoy it with other Breton delights, including seafood, crêpes, galettes (buckwheat crêpes), and gateau breton

Rhubarb cordial & Lake Retba (Lac Rose)

We’re now leaving France to spend some time in Senegal at the country’s very unique pink lake! The lake gets its pink color from the Dunaliella salina bacteria, which is attracted by the lake’s very high salt content. The bacteria, which is harmless to humans, makes the color especially visible during the dry season (November to June). Pair your trip to Lac Rose with a very delicious and refreshing rhubarb cocktail- instagram approved! For those who want to make and enjoy their rhubarb cocktail the same day, try this recipe.

Do you have any favorite beach/cocktail pairings?

Natalie Collet

Former Membership Manager

From the Midwest, Natalie is a Francophile at heart. Her interest in French started when studying ballet and​ the language and culture entranced her through her student years.​ She became involved with the - Alliance - in the suburbs of Chicago after she spent an unforgettable year teaching English in a French high school near Bordeaux. She is happy to join the team in Boston and work with the members to provide them with unique opportunities​, ​quality programming​, and a community through French!

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