3 Traditional French Beverages for a Foodie Traveler
By Ana Torres |
Enjoy your passion for wine pairing. Discover 3 of the most traditional French beverages and toast with us.
DINKtravelers are known to have an exquisite taste. For this reason, we like to explore each destination’s gastronomical personality. As far as international drinks go, we’ve talked about the tradition of Japanese sake, the route you can follow to taste the best gin, and the unparalleled mezcal. This time we introduce you to the most delicious French beverages, perfect to pair with a dish of ratatouille.
The foodie tourism trend has changed the way people travel in the 21st century. Nowadays, there are hotels with more than 10 international restaurants to satisfy their guests’ culinary curiosity. Moreover, there are special guided tours that focus on gastronomy. These tours lead travelers to the best places where they can try local dishes. That’s how foodie tourism was born. Foodies are self-declared food aficionados who dedicate most of their spare time to discover world dishes and compare their experiences with those of other food lovers.
Difference Between Foodie Travelers and Gourmet Travelers
It’s important to understand the difference between a foodie traveler and a gourmet traveler, in which tasters are included. A gourmet is a person who has studied high cuisine and who has trained his/her taste buds and sense of smell with the purpose of distinguishing the intensity of tastes and scents that characterize each dish or drink. This explains their preference for more sophisticated dishes. In comparison, a foodie is an amateur who is willing to experiment with new tastes and travel to learn about food. Many gourmet travelers began as foodies, so the road to success is in the adventure of trying new dishes and training our senses.
Today, travel agencies have incorporated culinary vacations to their specialized tours, offering guided tours to restaurants and wine cellars. Depending on their preferences, sybarites can also choose a specialized chef as their guide to learn more during the tour, or a nutritionist who can offer interesting and useful health facts. What’s more, there are packages that add tastings to the experience. Thanks to this, travelers can learn about the elaboration process of food like cheese or pasta, or even take a course to bake their own cake as they enjoy choosing the best chocolate to cover it. These proposals also include wine-tasting tours.
Traveling Like a Sommelier
Another option to travel the world for culinary motives is to do it as a sommelier, a person who is specialized in beverages that may or may not contain alcohol. They are dedicated full time to participating in tastings and pairings. Although this profession is commonly related with wine, there are also tea, coffee and beer sommeliers.
The most interesting thing is that not only do people who travel as sommeliers taste beverages but also visit the places where they are produced. They also learn about their regions of origin, their quality, and consumption traditions around the world.
The 3 Most Delicious French Beverages
If you want to plan a long vacation in France combining art, culture and tasty beverages, take notes. DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, recommends you try these French beverages:
#1 French Pastis
Pastis is an anise-based liquor, typical from Marseille and Provence. It is obtained from distilling ethyl alcohol, and combining it with chamomile, fennel and thyme leaves. Pastis has a high alcohol content, but there’s also an alcohol-free version. The French drink it cold and even recommend adding ice, so it’s the perfect summer drink. Pastis is known to be quite versatile so it’s commonly found in cocktails mixed with grenadine or mint syrup, which give it an original taste. The most famous producer of pastis in France is Ricard, which in facts was also the first to produce this beverage in the country. It is said that pastis became popular when absinthe was prohibited in France, so it was a substitute for this drink until it gained its own fame and fans.
It’s the oldest brandy in France and its origins date back to the 14th century. Back then it was used for medicinal purposes. Decades later, Armagnac started to be sold for personal consumption. The most popular producers are found in Landes, Lot et Garonne, and Gers. It has a high alcohol content because it is obtained from the distillation of white dry wine from four different types of grapes: Ugni-Blanc, Folle Blanche, Baco and Colombard. The classification of Armagnac depends on its age, since its aging in oak barrels can last up to 20 years!
#3 Vin chaud
This hot drink is elaborated with red wine and spices. In France, vin chaud dates back to Roman times when only aristocrats had the privilege of drinking it in winter. It was until the 17th century that it became available for the general public. In France vin chaud is made with wine from Bordeaux, and it has become the typical Christmas drink. Experts recommend pairing it with semi sweet desserts.
How to Prepare French Vin Chaud
If you want to enjoy Paris’ winter flavors from home, DINKtravelers shares with you the recipe to prepare vin chaud. You need: 1 bottle of red wine, 4 ounces of brown sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, two pinches of grated ginger, 5 cloves, 1 spoon of ground cardamom, and orange and lime zest. Mix the wine and sugar in a bowl and let it simmer. When it starts to boil, add the rest of the ingredients and stir for at least 20 minutes. Pour a cup and enjoy!
Pack your bags and prepare to enjoy a trip full of flavors across the territories of ancient Gaulle with the best French beverages.