Making the Most of Paris Cocktail Week 2018: Part II (Going the Distance)

Paris Cocktail Talk: Paris Cocktail Week 2018

So now that you have your PCW18 cocktail route researched and mapped, let’s talk about how to keep up your stamina to make it through the week in fine form. Obviously staying hydrated is top priority but we’ve got a few more tips to keep you in top shape.

She’s Sober cocktail, photo credit: Philippe Levy for Paris Cocktail Week

Try the Nonalcoholic Cocktail Options: Paris Cocktail Week has a very strong non-alcoholic component with each bar featuring a dry option that still lets you experience come of the creative fun of the cocktail world. For example, at le 1905 they’re making shrubs for their Bécassine – which also includes the interesting addition of a mustard cordial. Meanwhile over at Danico, they’ll be making up the aptly named She’s Sober with Perrier, grenadine, shiso leaf infused beetroot and balsamic vinegar, and verjus. And if you read Part I of the PCW18 guide, you already know about the beautiful presentation on Solera’s nonalcoholic cocktail. And you don’t have to go 100% non-alcoholic cocktails – I like to bring along a drinking partner so we can order one of each and try them both.

Le Syndicat bar; Photo credit: Philippe Levy for Paris Cocktail Week

Go for Low Octane Options: The trend towards low-octane cocktail options has been going strong for several years now with bars incorporating lower alcohol cocktail bases and you can find some along these lines during Paris Cocktail Week. Try the Torino 75 with a Vermouth Mulassano at the Balagan or the Amer Picano at le Syndicat. You can also check out the Cap Sur La Corse event at the Andre Latin. In this case, they’re mixing it up with gin, but it’s still a good opportunity to learn a little more about a less common low octane ingredient.

Photo credit: Philippe Levy for Paris Cocktail Week

Don’t forget the food: Obviously making sure to eat while you’re drinking is good advice. And, fortunately, Paris now has plenty of choice for bars with great food programmes. Some favourites for great small plates to with your bar crawl are Pas de Loup, Mary Celeste, Gravity, Mabel or l’ArtisanLes Justes and Lockwood both put on apero a l’italien (a free buffet), so you can even get some free snacks if you hit it at the right time. Otherwise, made a night out of it and go to one of the restaurants on the PCW list for a full dinner and a drink.  Some good picks are Ober Mamma, Le Gallopin, Flesh, Paris Texas, Sunset, Café Moderne, les Grands Verres, Bonhomie, The Beast or Danico. And for the ultimate food and drink combo during the week, Carbon is puttong on a Sunday Roast and Cocktails event as part of the PCW programme on the 21st. (

Now you should be ready to handle the whole week in style and better appreciate the Paris Cocktail Week tagline: “less but better!”

Check back tomorrow for Part III: Thinking beyond the week

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Cocktail Expert Forest Collins is the creator of 52martinis, an online guide to the best cocktail bars in Paris and other small batch spirits news from France. We've also recently launched an app so you can keep all that bar info in your pocket!