Cocktail hour, Paris-style

The cocktail became the symbol of these festive times, and it was the greatest draw of any occasion

We are in 1920s Paris and the spirit of partying and indulging in cocktails is in full swing, under the influence of American style bars. Author of a new book on the subject, Franck Audoux raises a glass to good times and picks three great tipples from the era to try at home

Is not the cocktail related to the French aperitif? Are not the best cocktails made with the best French liqueurs?

Should the word not be spelled coquetel?

Considering how important the cocktail had become in society, some were eager to “find” French origins in the phenomenon.

Their research would lead them all the way to Napoléon Bonaparte, emperor of the French and a great enthusiast of a Bordeaux recipe already several centuries old that consisted of a mix of wine and eau de vie. Its name was coquetel.

But while there was indeed a relationship, it is to the writer Joris-Karl Huysmans that one must turn. In his novel À rebours, published in 1884, the character des Esseintes invents a mouth organ.

The keys of his organ are connected to the spouts of small liqueur ...

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