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When in Paris...try these 5 signature drinks

Cocktails, hot chocolate, coffee or martini: whatever be your poison, Paris has something for everyone. Here are the popular haunts.

travel Updated: Dec 29, 2017 16:01 IST
You can sip on champagne on top of the Eiffel Tower.
You can sip on champagne on top of the Eiffel Tower.(Shutterstock)

Are you visiting Paris for some sightseeing, strolling and shopping? Or maybe you’re looking to drink your way through Paris. Whether you fancy Champagne atop the Eiffel Tower, or the coffee at a sidewalk cafe, here are five ways to raise a toast, Parisian style.

The Champagne Bar is more of a takeout window than a bar, serving regular fizz for about $15 a glass and Mumm Rose Champagne for $20. (Shutterstock)

Pop at the top

A flute of Champagne is a celebration. A flute of Champagne at the pinnacle of the Eiffel Tower is just that little bit extra. An elegant and enduring monument to 19th-century know-how, the tower attracts 7 million visitors a year, which means you’re probably going to have to put up with some lines. But this is worth the wait. Online tickets are available although they tend to sell out fast. If you want some exercise, you can buy a stair ticket to climb the 704 steps to the second floor and then buy an elevator ticket to the third (top) floor, although you may have to wait if the top is full. The Champagne Bar is more of a takeout window than a bar, serving regular fizz for about $15 a glass and Mumm Rose Champagne for $20.

VIsit: toureiffel.paris/en/preparing-your-visit/opening-times

Harry’s New York Bar is perfect for cockails like Bloody Mary. (Shutterstock)

Classic cocktails

Harry’s New York Bar, near the Palais Garnier at 5 rue Daunou, comes by its name honestly. It was founded in 1911 by an American jockey who had a Manhattan bar dismantled and shipped over. The style is old-school. The white-coated bartenders ply their trade with businesslike efficiency and the panelled walls are covered with mementos, including pennants from several American colleges and paper money from all over. Fun on a busy evening but also excellent in the quiet of a rainy afternoon. The bar is said to be the birthplace of several drinks including the French 75 and the sidecar. But it may be best known as the home of the Bloody Mary and still serves up a hearty version featuring a liberal amount of Worcestershire sauce and plenty of vodka. According to legend, famous customers include Humphrey Bogart, Coco Chanel and, you guessed it, Hemingway.

Snag a seat in the outdoor area of Les Deux Magots and watch the (well-dressed) world go by as you sip on a classic double espresso (Shutterstock)

Cafe Society

Back in the day, Les Deux Magots buzzed with the talk of artists and intellectuals like Jean-Paul Sartre and Picasso. Today, it’s more of a tourist haunt, but there’s plenty of atmospheric charm at this cafe in the tony Saint-Germain-des-Pres area. Snag a seat in the outdoor area and watch the (well-dressed) world go by as you sip on a classic double espresso.And if you can’t find a spot at the Deux Magots try the nearby Cafe de Flore, 172 boulevard Saint-Germain, also charming and embedded in the city’s intellectual and artistic history.

Hemingway Hangout

Cole Porter is said to have composed music in the dark and cozy alcove known as the “little bar” at the Ritz Paris. Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway “liberated” the place after the Allies marched into Paris in 1944. Stories vary but the liberation mainly appears to have taken the form of downing a significant number of martinis. Today, you can visit the cozy drinking spot, which was renovated and restored a few years ago and is now known as Bar Hemingway. The vibe here is comfortable. There are leather chairs, a bust of Hemingway, lots of memorabilia, including a few manual typewriters and a line-up of cocktails. A good choice to honour Hemingway’s legacy is the clean dirty martini that has a briny olive taste but is clear, not cloudy.

Chic Chocolate

A rich, dark, pudding-like brew, the hot chocolate at the Angelina cafes comes with a separate small cup of whipped cream. Expect a dash of tableside theatre as the waiter lifts the jug high to send a stream of molten chocolate cascading into your cup. There are a few locations, including the original, Belle Epoque-style tearoom at 226 rue de Rivoli, as well as branches near the Louvre and the Luxembourg museums. Entrance to the museum is not required to visit the Luxembourg location. You have the added bonus of being able to walk off some of that chocolate in the large and lovely gardens.

Visit: angelina-paris.fr/en/

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