The sophisticated Paris cocktail scene boasts four brand new bars providing world class cocktails with a unique and distinctly French experience. If you are in Paris they are all worth a visit and never more so than at Christmas.
Le Petit Poucet – 5 Place de Clichy, 75017 Paris
Le Petit Poucet is a French children’s tale about a little boy who leaves a trail of stones behind him so that he may find his way home. In this case, you may want to drop the stones behind you when leaving the bar so that you can find your way back. There has been a bistro on the site for over a century and the recent renovation has remained true to the period. Much of the exterior facade has been retained and the clever use of reclaimed timber and brickwork combined with soft ambient lighting and period prints provides a warm, sung interior that feels like it has been there for hundreds of years.
There is an extensive cocktail menu with the eye immediately drawn to the Absinthe “Revival” section and the Green Beast has to be sipped. The legendary Green Fairy banned in France for decades made a return in 2010 and Le Petit Poucet has no less than five Absinthe based cocktails to savour. There is a good selection of classic cocktails on the menu and the house specialties are well worth a try, especially the Moulin Rouge.
L’Eclair– 32 Rue Clerc, 75007 Paris
This gorgeous little bar is located in the chic 7th Arrondissement, on one of the few totally pedestrianised streets in Paris. Once again this new bar gives the impression that it has been there forever with tiled bar top and period fixtures encouraging a pre-war feeling that is amplified by the lack of traffic outside.
This bar is all about sharing cocktails and sharing a good time. The menu has all the classic favourites that one could wish for and they are prepared beautifully. A personal favourite is the 666: Jim Beam “Devils Cut” Bourbon, Liqueur St Germain, miel, jus de citron, cerise macérée dans du bourbon.
Le Calbar – 82 Rue de Charenton, 75012 Paris
Calbar is French slang for men in underwear and that is what the bar is all about. All of the bartenders wear shorts, no trousers allowed. As you might expect, this is a high energy bar that is very popular with a younger than average clientele who enjoy a lively and boisterous atmosphere.
The cocktail menu is extensive and the quality of ingredients particularly high. Another nice touch is that the cocktail menu is laid out according to the base spirit rather than the period of the cocktail or its geographic origin. The bar’s signature cocktail is le Surprise Me! It is gorgeous and there is no surprise about that.
Le Bar du Bristol – 112 Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, 75008 Paris
Le Bar du Bristol is the completely refurbished bar of the famous Hotel du Bristol and it is the very pinnacle of luxury and effortless class. The ambiance is warm and easy. This is a place to relax, enjoy and indulge. The head barman is Maxime Hoerth, named Best Craftsmen in France 2011 and with triple Michelin starred chef, Erich Frechon, creating a range of sweet and savoury tapas to accompany Maxime’s cocktails, the draw is more than compelling.
Selected DJ’s play a range of music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings right after a contemporary art exhibition which takes place every evening between 8:00pm and 9:30pm. The art theme changes every month and is displayed on a giant mirror that transforms into a giant screen. It is no wonder that the Beckhams chose to call the Hotel du Bristol home.