Trivia time: did you know that some of history’s most endearing cocktails have their origins in the land of berets, baguettes and Bugattis? Next time you order a drink, you should think about the vital contribution France has made to today’s mixology scene. If it wasn’t for classics like the French 75, a tipple created during WWI said to have the punch of a French 75mm artillery piece; The Sidecar, made for a flamboyant military officer who’d arrive at Harry’s New York Bar on a motorbike with sidecar; and that blissful hangover cure The Mimosa, created by Frank Meier at The Ritz Paris, we might never have moved past gin and tonics.
Fortunately, Le Boudoir, that most French of all Hong Kong speakeasies, is reviving classic French cocktails with a series of concoctions inspired by the City of Light. Made with either classic pours or, for the purist, vintage French ingredients, five new additions to the bar’s menu have restored L'Art de Vivre to Wyndham Street. Try the Pink Squirrel, a drink once made with ice cream and now interpreted with equal parts heavy cream, crème de cacao and illusive Crème de Noyaux, a rare liqueur made with the stones of apricots, peaches and cherries. Alternatively, the robust Tremblement de Terre, or ‘Earthquake’, is a powerful blend of cognac and absinthe created by famed French Post-Impressionist painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec that will either have you bouncing off the walls or cutting off your own ear. Enjoy these classic drinks amidst the Chinoiserie-punctuated Belle Époque grandeur of Le Boudoir’s chandelier-lit salon and toast to alchemists and mixologists past and present.
“A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink” ~W. C. Fields
Le Boudoir’s New Classic Cocktails
Basement, 65 Wyndham Street, Central; 2530 3870.