The former manager of Paris' Experimental Cocktail Club does Bastille Day right
Need cocktail inspiration for the upcoming French holiday, Bastille Day? Look no further than these creations from Paris' hottest mixologist.
French mixologist Carina Tsou, formerly of the Experimental Cocktail Club, is now reinventing Paris' cocktail scene with two new ventures, the hip taqueria Candelaria and the latest endeavor, Le Mary Celeste oyster bar. Now, Tsou is mixing up cocktails that take on the traditional French holiday with one of France's most beloved wines, rosé.
These cocktails, made with Belaire Rosé, a unique new sparkling rosé from the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region in the South of France, automatically add authentic flair to any French-themed fete. Bring Paris back to the States with two easy, rosé wine cocktails.
Click here for the Provence Patriot Cocktail
Click here for the Rosé Revolution Cocktail
What to Drink for Bastille Day
Get out your beret: Sunday is the historic French holiday Bastille Day! It's time to play a few games of pétanque and eat a bowl of gruyère-crusted onion soup and a plate of steak frites. But you must have at least one cocktail before you order a bottle of Beaujolais. So what'll it be, Mack. err, make that monsieur Mack? Fortunately, you have a number of Gallic options, some dating all the way back to Prohibition.
While most elixirs served during The Great Experiment were terrible, a few good concoctions were enjoyed in that period. We exported the "American School of Drinking" to France, as Albert Stevens Crockett called it in his wonderful Old Waldorf Bar Days, and after Prohibition ended, we got in return beauties like the French 75 -- and, if you believe the legend, the Bloody Mary.
Now the Bloody Mary needs no set of instructions, no discussion, since every cocktail aficionado in the country will swear that his or her own formula is the best and all others are simply wrong, misguided or malicious. I, of course, will share with you my take on it, should you care to experiment a bit.
The French 75 (pictured above) is another story, but the recipe can be made with cognac or gin. Though the bartenders at New Orleans' acclaimed French 75 Bar are prepared to duel at dawn to protect the primacy of the cognac version, I would be a second for either camp I like them equally.
You can also enjoy the Sidecar, another classic from the Prohibition era. (Be warned: Some mixological historians think that it's simply a Brandy Crusta re-branded.) Harry McElhone, in his pocket-sized tome ABC of Mixing Cocktails credits a man named MacGarry of the Buck's Club in London with the invention, but respected cocktail author David Embury insists that it was created in Paris by a close friend. For the sake of the holiday, let's go with Embury's version of history. And when you fix the drink, I hope you have the good sense to use French cognac and Cointreau, and -- do I really need to say it? -- fresh lemon juice.
Finally, I suggest you end your Bastille Day with an after-dinner tipple that will be difficult to resist: the Parisian Blonde Cocktail. It's a simple but perfect combination of Jamaican rum, Curaçao and cream. À votre santé, mes amis.
Easy French Recipes for Bastille Day
Petit Dejeuner is a wonderfully French way to start the day. Slather fresh baguettes with butter and jam and serve alongside coffee or hot chocolate. If your bakery makes pain au chocolat (chocolate croissants), go for it!
Easy Homemade Crepes
What’s more French than les crepes? You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to make these. They are delicious for breakfast, an afternoon snack, and dessert. Make the batter in advance so the flour and liquid form some thingamabobs that Jen told me about and I’ve now forgotten.
Ham and Gruyere Quiche with Leeks
This quiche, rich with ham, Gruyere Cheese, and Leeks will make any breakfast, lunch, or dinner shine. I need to make two of these because my kids gobble it down.
A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. And it’s pretty darn awesome with Gruyere cheese, ham, and bread topped with a creamy Beschamel sauce.
Roast Chicken and Vegetables
While the French do love their ham — they even put it on pizza! — they do a great roast chicken as well. This easy recipe is one that we smelled every day in Paris. It tastes so delicious!
Enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean with this easy Escalivada, chock full of eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomato, and peppers, drizzled with olive oil. This dish is often served as tapas or as a relish for grilled meats and fish. My French mom Michèle served it with charcuterie, cheese, and bread. It would also be great on pizza or folded into an omelet.
If you’ve got some summer eggplant and squash, use it for this easy oven-roasted ratatouille. I typically make the version in my freezer cookbook (affiliate link), but I really like this hands-free version. Ratatouille is not a pretty dish, but it is delicious! I’ve served it simply over rice, alongside grilled chicken and fish, and also with fried eggs, which is the way my French mom says to do it.
Ham and Cheese Salad
Ham and Gruyere cheese add rich flavor to this hearty salad that evokes tastes of France. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and tastes great!
Boules de Picolat
Boules de Picolat is a traditional Catalan dish that I first tasted in France and it became one of my favorites. These meatballs, made of a combination of pork, beef, and mushrooms and then simmered in a sauce, can be served over rice or potatoes.
The Cheese Course
The Cheese Course is a traditional end to a French meal. Serve up some baguettes slices with a selection of cheese and fruit.
Chocolate Fondue is the perfect way to end a meal. Yum! It’s so quick and easy. Serve it with fresh fruit and Cinnamon Puffs for a simple but delicious dessert.
Best Cocktails of April 2021
Make this Spring season even more beautiful with tasty and gorgeous-looking cocktails!
Our first cocktail on the list is Bermuda Hundred by Jason Holmes @jason_._holmes. The combination of gin, Campari, pineapple juice, and lime juice creates a subtle sourness and hints of sweet notes that are perfect to end a stressful day. Plus, the gorgeous orange hue is so pleasing to the eyes.
The Rumjava Tiki’Mon is the creation of Mix-Mann Harp @mix.mann. The cocktail is a marriage between American rum and Kona coffee, loaded with bitter, sweet, and fruit notes.
Spring season screams happiness and comfort, and one way to celebrate such a festive vibe is through this pink cocktail - the Rose Garden. Crafted by The Cocktail Diaries @thecocktaildiaries_, this beverage only needs some vodka, lime juice, rosemary syrup, and rose lemonade.
Blue is not a color of Spring, but the Hawaiian Punch cocktail by lou_the_bartender is so refreshing that it would be a shame not to have it. The combination of sour mix, Hypnotiq, white rum, and dragonberry rum creates citrus and bitter notes in every sip.
Green Twinkle is a beverage that is both tasty and pleasing to the eyes. The mixture of the liquors, lime juice, tonic water, sage, and rosemary, creates a one-of-a-kind combination that is refreshing but still has that kick.
If you miss the beautiful cherry blossoms, the Grander Raspberry Mojito by Grander Rum @granderrum will make you reminisce your sweet memories of Spring. The gorgeous red and pink hue comes from the combination of berries and tonic water. The result? A sweet and smooth cocktail perfect for parties.
Nothing beats a sparkling cocktail, especially if it is sweet enough to tease your taste buds. The Sparkling Paris by Remi Massai @frenchandstormy is full of citrus and fruity notes that are not loaded with much alcohol.
Our eighth featured drink is another aesthetically pleasing treat - the Pinkie Tiki - Rita by Spirited Shaker @spiritedshaker. The combination of tequila, lime juice, orgeat, pink peppercorn, and rose enhancer gives off fruity and floral flavors in every sip.
Next is the ultimate summer thirst quencher. The Mango Margarita crafted by Faiza Richards @faizashrugged is a simple one to make yet loaded with bright and sweet hints. Lastly, the Pinewood Derby’s flavor combination is a smooth balance of tart, sweet, herbal, and rich notes.
Visit the full article to learn more about the recipes.
1. Classic French 75 Cocktail
The French 75 is having a moment right now, and why wouldn't it? This light, aromatic, effervescent cocktail is the perfect balance of Champagne (or you can substitute sparkling wine from other countries, such as Prosecco or Cava or use Crémant from France), lemon juice, and aromatic dry gin. Keep it super French by using a French gin, such as Citadelle and an affordable French Champagne, such as Veuve Clicquot yellow label brut. Use a Champagne you'd drink by itself, but don't use a super expensive sparkling wine - save that for sipping on its own.
Bastille Day Cocktails? Mais, Oui!
Whether hosting friends and family, or heading out for games of pétanque, stocking up on French spirits is a must! Adding classics like D’USSE Cognac, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and Grey Goose Vodka to your cocktail line-up, will elevate the mood & menu, and help you celebrate the French way.
For an eye-catching centerpiece, consider pre-batching a D’USSE Fleur de Vie for a floral-forward cocktail bringing together sweet notes of elderflower, richness from cognac, and a splash of fresh champagne bubbles. To satisfy those whose taste buds favor something sweet, St-Germain’s Parisian Daiquiri is a perfect French twist on a classic cocktail. Grey Goose’s Paris to Pampelonne captures the slightly savory side of cocktails with a combination of Grey Goose vodka, St-Germain, lemon juice and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. These are just a few of an array of French cocktail recipes you’ll find below that are perfect to craft in the spirit of independence and ‘joie de vivre’ – French for ‘enjoyment of life.’
The Singapore Sling
The Singapore Sling may owe its heritage to the cocktail movements of the 1910s and 1920s, but this drink, which involves gin, Grand Marnier, cherry liqueur, herbal liqueur, and pineapple juice, experienced a major resurgence in the 1980s. However, these new interpretations of the traditional Sling — which tended to go heavy on alternate ingredients like grenadine — didn’t present the cocktail in the best possible light, as beverage director Jason Stevens of La Corsha Hospitality in Austin laments: “The Singapore Sling, an incredible proto-Tiki/pre-Prohibition classic, has been so maligned over the years that it’s hard to think of it as anything other than an overly sweet, artificial disco drink (not that I don’t love some disco).”
That said, Stevens still thinks that there’s ample opportunity for today’s beverage enthusiasts to enjoy and appreciate Singapore Slings in the spirit for which they were intended. “When [a Singapore Sling is] made with a little love and care, it’s dressed up right and it feels respectable — as if [you’re sending] ingredients like gin and herbal liqueur on an island vacation,” Stevens insists.
15 Bartenders Share Their Favorite Cocktails From Around The Globe
Today is International Cocktail Day in which the industry recognizes the same day in 1806 when the term “cocktail” was first published. The Balance and Columbian Repository originally printed the term to describe an alcoholic beverage as a “stimulating liquor with a wide variety of sweets, waters, and bitters.”
While many globally-curious imbibers regularly experiment with different spirits, liqueurs and recipes, some of us may require a gentle nudge out of our cocktail rut. Today, provides an exceptional excuse.
Below, 15 bartenders, mixologists and spirits experts share their favorite international cocktails, from South Korea to Spain, including recipes, and what makes them so special.
Blackberry Chu-Hai made with iichiko
“Chu-Hai is short for shochu highball and is born in Japan. My favorite place to drink Chu-Hai in Japan is Bar High Five in Tokyo, The SG Club in Tokyo, and Ben Fiddich Bar in Tokyo.” — Natasha Sofia, cocktail expert
Recipe: Shochu (my preference is iichiko), sparkling water and fruit juice. Add all ingredients into a highball glass with ice and give a quick stir. For the fruit juice, I’ve been in a love affair with yuzu and I think you can never go wrong with it, but think it’s a good way to explore different flavors like plum, peach, or melon.
The French 75, Paris
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“The wonderful thing about this drink is its versatility by changing up your gin, switching out your citrus of choice, or varying the dryness of your bubbly. It's truly customizable to your unique tastes. And best of all, because it only calls for four ingredients, it's an approachable and easy drink for the home bartender to make.” — Alan Dietrich, mixologist and CEO of Crater Lake Spirits,
Recipe: 2 oz gin, 1 oz lemon juice, 1 oz simple syrup, and 2 oz champagne. Shake the gin, lemon, and simple syrup, then strain into a sugar rimmed glass (coupe, martini, or flute). Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist. Of course, fresh lemon juice is best. You can also muddle a sugar cube instead of simple syrup for a similar take.
Pimm’s Cup, London
“When I lived in London, on Sunday afternoons my flatmates and I would scout a picnic table at our local pub in South Kensington for day-drinking that glided into long, slow dinners fueled by great conversation and endless pitchers of Pimm’s.” — Hilary Pereira, mixologist and founder of SPLASH Cocktail Mixers
Recipe: 2 oz Pimm’s No. 1., 3 oz cold ginger ale, 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 thin cucumber slice (cut length wise), 2 lemon slices (in round shape), 1 orange slice (in round shape), mint leaves. Fill a tall glass with ice. Press one long cucumber slice to one side of glass. Drop in the two lemon slices and one orange slice. Add Pimm’s No. 1 and fresh squeezed lemon juice, top with ginger ale and stir well. Garnish with fresh mint leaves on top.
Soju Bomb, South Korea
“I add a twist to the traditional soju shots and make it Mexican style using YaVe Tequila and beer at my home bar. I love the stronger and flavored Mango YaVe tequila because it adds more complexity to the simple drink.” — Fiona Lee, mixologist
Recipe: 1 shot of Soju (or in this case, tequila), 1 pint of beer. Pour the beer into a pint glass. Pour the tequila, into the shot glass. When you are ready, drop the shot into the beer, then drink.
Spanish Style Gin and Tonic, Spain
“What I love about a Gin and Tonic is its versatility. You can change the flavors of this drink to fit your mood, what season it is, and even the type of event you're attending. The Spanish have perfected and elevated what was a casual and boring drink.” — Andrew Erickson, lead bartender at Fable Lounge in Nashville, TN
Recipe: A Spanish Gin & Tonic is served in a Copa de Balon or balloon glass. You begin with picking the gin and deciding what flavors pair well with the spirit. My fiancé enjoys Gin Mare, and I frequently make this exact recipe for her at home. I start with filling the glass with ice and add 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, 1 sliced strawberry, 4 sage leaves, 3 basil leaves, and 3 thyme sprigs. I then pour 3 oz of Gin Mare over the botanicals and ice. The next step is for show, but it makes for a good experience and fun party trick. I sink a bar spoon into the glass and pour Fever Tree Indian tonic water down the bar spoon. I then float 1 oz of Earl Grey Tea and finish with an expression of orange peel.
Irish Coffee, Dublin
“When crafted to perfection, there are few cocktails better than the Irish Coffee. The contrast in temperature between the cool cream and hot coffee as you take a sip is just delightful but the flavor of the freshly whipped cream paired with the sweetened coffee and Irish whiskey is something you need to experience and taste for yourself to understand its raw beauty.” — Tyler Zielinski, bartender, consultant and drinks writer.
Recipe: Making an Irish Coffee is fairly simple, but every detail matters if you want to make an excellent one. All that's required is an Irish whiskey (Bushmills, Redbreast, Green Spot, and Glendalough are some of my favorites), demerara syrup, coffee, freshly whipped heavy cream, and nutmeg (optional). You might notice that there isn't any Bailey's in there — and that's no mistake. To make a proper Irish Coffee, add boiling water to your Irish Coffee glass to heat the glass. While the glass is heating, whip your heavy cream. (You can hand-whip the cream, or add it to a cocktail or protein shaker and shake until it's lightly whipped and viscous enough to be layered on top.) Once your cream is ready, dump the boiling water from your Irish Coffee glass and add 1.25 oz Irish whiskey, 0.5 oz demerara syrup and 3.5 oz hot coffee to the glass, leaving about an index finger’s worth of space at the top of the glass for the cream. Layer with freshly whipped cream (pour over the back of the bar spoon), and garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.
Amerciano Shandy, Italy
“This cocktail is an interpretation of the classic Italian Americano drink using beer instead of soda to give the drink a creamier taste.” — Alberto Fedeli, General Manager at The Chastain in Atlanta, GA
Recipe: Campari, sweet Vermouth and a lager beer. Combine 10 oz Campari, 1 oz sweet Vermouth (we use Carpano Classico at The Chastain) and top the mixture with a splash of any choice of lager beer.
Mezcal Sour, Todo Santos, Baja California, Mexico
“Mezcal has a very smoky flavor, paired with a tropical fruit it gives a sweet BBQ flavor and the egg gives a textured finish. I love egg whites in cocktails because of the almost leathery tongue feel it adds to any refreshing cocktail.” — Shaneal Wynter, mixologist at The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa in Manchester, VT
Recipe: 2 oz mezcal, 0.75 oz lime juice, 1 oz pineapple simple syrup, 1 oz egg whites, smoked then roasted pineapple garnish. Shake hard with ice, strain into rocks glass, cover with fresh ice and garnish with the pineapple wedge.
Rum Old Fashioned, Louisville and the Caribbean
“This drink is inspired by blending the official cocktail of Louisville, the Old Fashioned, and the tropical, aromatic qualities of Caribbean-made rum. This signature cocktail was inspired by the post-prohibition cocktail boom in Cuba and America. During prohibition times, American bartenders headed south to Cuba and other Caribbean islands for work. This migration brought about many new techniques and a large surge in tiki-style cocktails.” — Frances Leary, bartender at Swizzle Dinner and Drinks at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY
Recipe: The base of the drink, Plantation O.F.T.D (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark) rum, is an overproof rum aged in barrels which adds an intense dark color and heavy notes of brown sugar and tropical fruits. To accent this, we add a spoon-full of our demerara sugar syrup, which is a variety of sugar made from raw cane sugar and molasses. This syrup is a key component in a well made Old Fashioned because instead of hiding many of the big characteristics of an over-proof rum or bourbon, it accents the existing flavor notes. Next, fresh lime juice is added to brighten up the drink and add refreshing acidity. Finally, both aromatic and orange bitters bring further complexity to the drink making it both well-rounded and an easy sipper. All of these fine ingredients are combined in a mixing glass with crushed ice, then stirred until well combined and thoroughly chilled. To finish it off, we strain our cocktail into a tiki mug, filled to brim with fresh nugget ice. I like to garnish with a pineapple wedge to complement the tropical fruit notes in the rum and a cherry to pay homage to the Old Fashioned.
Singapore Sling, Raffles Hotel, Singapore
“My first time being introduced to the Sling was in Jupiter, FL at a restaurant called U-Tiki Beach, by a bartender named Carl. The guest experience had a lot to do with my affinity for this beverage. Carl gave me the whole spiel of the drink, including a short history and his personal reason for choosing to prepare it for me. The hospitality he displayed that night has inspired me during many moments in my hospitality career, which have led to having many of my guests also try the Singapore Sling. This drink was originally geared towards women, but it became highly renowned in the Raffles Hotels by all guests and travelers.” — Jared Uy, beverage specialist at Makers & Finders in Las Vegas, NV
Recipe: 1.5 oz of gin, 0.5 oz cherry heering (or any cherry liqueur), 0.25 oz Cointreau, 0.25 oz Benedictine, 0.25 oz grenadine, 0.5 oz lime juice. Build all ingredients in shaker, shake with ice. Pour into a hurricane glass with one full scoop of ice. Garnish with a cherry and pineapple slice. Personally, I like to use the Benedictine as a float (like a Cadillac). That is how I was introduced to it in my first experience, and it left a lasting impression.
Smoke and Bitters cocktail
Smoke and Bitters, Italy and Mexico
“This cocktail is so special because its three ingredients represent two very distinct countries and cultures [Italy and Mexico], both of which joyfully celebrate life, and both of which produce ancient spirits that are very much rooted to the earth, simplicity and quality of the raw materials.” — Tad Carducci, in-house tasting expert for Amaro Montenegro and Select Aperitivo
Recipe: 1 oz Amaro Montenegro, 1 oz Select Aperitivo, and 1 oz mezcal. Stir all the ingredients with ice until they are devastatingly cold, luxuriously smooth, and until the beautiful cultures which are represented in the bottles are so thoroughly blended together that they become one. Serve with an orange twist.
Jungle Bird, Malaysia
“My interpretation of this classic is inspired specifically by the island of Saint Lucia. My pivot to spiced rum from the called-for Blackstrap variety increases the fun factor of the ‘Jungle Bird’. While it is typically revered by bartenders for its dark and mysterious qualities, it can be a stretch for some guests to enjoy. The tropical fruit and spices are still balanced against the bitterness of the Campari, but this way the cocktail celebrates the laid back beach vibes of the tropical Windward Island.” — James Letendre, beverage manager for Marcel, The Optimist & JCT. Kitchen
Recipe: 1.5 oz Chairman’s Reserve spiced rum, 0.75 oz Campari, 1 oz fresh pineapple juice, 0.5 oz fresh lime juice. Combine all ingredients with ice in a mixing tin. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice in a tiki glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
Fino Sherry & Gin, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain
“On a hot summer day, sometimes a full proof cocktail seems exhausting, so having a low proof option is the perfect decision. The other beautiful thing about this cocktail is that you can dress it up however you like for example, add some elderflower liqueur, cucumber and mint for something extra refreshing or take a more fruity approach by shaking it with some strawberries, lime and a little Aperol to create something more dynamic. Either way, this is an exciting base for your summer cocktail program.” — Zack Musick, beverage director at Merriman’s Hawaii
Recipe: 2 oz gin, 2 oz Fino Sherry, Mediterranean tonic, 1 Lime wedge. It is a riff on a classic gin and tonic, but you split the gin portion with an equal part of Fino Sherry and then use a local Mediterranean tonic and lime wedge to finish the cocktail.
La Charreada, Jalisco, Mexico
“It’s a rich cocktail and it represents one of the most traditional Mexican sports in the highlands of Jalisco, which combines the game of charros and tacos al pastor which are very popular in that region.” — Oskar Murillo, head bartender at the Copper Bar at La Casona, Hacienda Patrón
Recipe: La Charreada is created with Patrón reposado, lemon, achiote syrup and orange juice. It can be considered a variant of the margarita (using same portions) but it’s a unique twist as it is served in a rocks glass with the rim covered in baked corn and a slice of lemon and lime.
La Española, Spain
“I picture myself sipping on this Spanish-inspired cocktail for hours watching the sunset in the Sant Martí district of Barcelona, at Platja del Bogatell. Enjoying fantastically earthy and vibrant cocktails, in the beautiful sun, what more could one ask for?” — Veronica Lopez, lead bartender at Causwells, San Francisco
Recipe: 1.5 oz gin, 0.5 oz Ambrato vermouth, 0.5 oz beet juice, 1 oz lemon, and 0.5 oz agave syrup. All to be shaken hard and poured over in a king cube in a rocks glass. And what would a cocktail be without a gorgeous garnish? It's finished off with a beet ribbon and smacked mint. What I love most about this is the use of fresh juices, I always feel that they are the simplest way to elevate a drink.
Originally appearing in Harry Craddock’s 1930 bartender reference, “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” this cocktail is a true classic, despite its relatively modern and tropical flavors. With its combination of funky hogo-heavy Jamaican rum, orange curaçao and heavy cream, it fits right in with anything you’ll find at a contemporary cocktail bar. Dale DeGroff, King Cocktail himself, suggests the drink as an after-dinner tipple, calling it “a simple but perfect combination” of ingredients. It’s a fantastic finish to a Bastille Day meal, with or instead of dessert, or on any other day of the year.
Craddock’s recipe omitted the sprinkling of grated nutmeg that in the meantime has become traditional. An even more modern twist is to adjust the way it’s served: In her book “Shake, Stir, Sip,” cocktail expert Kara Newman takes a cue from the drink’s Jamaican rum and suggests a tropical-inspired presentation in a Collins glass or Tiki mug over crushed ice, garnished with a cocktail umbrella.
Modern Recipes to Ring in Bastille Day
Happy Bastille Day! From a cheesy onion soup to a kale-studded Niçoise salad, we’ve gathered our favorite French recipes with a modern twist. Make one or all of these recipes and toast to La Fête Nationale.
Spanish Fruit Salad
The French *didn’t* eat kale but since being available at a lot of markets and supermarkets in and around Paris (and more in other parts of the country) since autumn 2013, the leafy green, which is just a légume oublié (lost and forgotten vegetable like parsnips or sunchokes) is selling well. No harm in having another available leafy green for those that want it!
The French make everything sound lovely, even forgotten vegetables, don’t they? Thanks for weighing in! Such interesting insight.
So interesting to know, Leslie! Thanks for sharing. You might find this related article and slideshow interesting.
i live in France part of the year and while I like your take on all foods French I would just like to say that the French don’t eat kale …. They grow it for animal feed. Too tough, too miserable tasting to bother with.. Even the Italians use it only after cooking it in soup or stew. Swiss chard is as healthy, if not more so, tastier, easier to use… The French use it all the time.