Parisian Cocktails: A Guide to the City’s Best Bars

Glass of Negroni cocktail

Paris is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, its artistic legacy, its culinary prowess, and its vibrant nightlife. The French capital boasts a wealth of bars, bistros, and brasseries, where locals and visitors can enjoy a wide range of beverages, from classic wines and beers to signature cocktails and spirits. In this article, we’ll explore the best bars in Paris for cocktails, with a focus on the city’s most iconic and innovative mixologists, as well as the most exquisite and exotic drinks that they create.

1. Little Red Door

Located in the trendy Marais district, Little Red Door is a sleek and stylish cocktail bar that offers a unique and ever-changing menu of creative and colorful concoctions. The bar’s name is a nod to the famous children’s story, but there’s nothing childish about the drinks here, which are all expertly crafted and exquisitely presented. The menu is divided into three sections: “House Creations,” “Seasonal Creations,” and “Guest Creations,” with each section featuring a selection of imaginative and inspiring cocktails that are sure to delight even the most discerning drinkers. Some of the standout drinks on offer include the “Buttered Popcorn Old Fashioned,” the “Pirate’s Treasure,” and the “Lady Marmalade,” which features a blend of gin, citrus, raspberry, and rosewater.

Photo: © Little Red Bar

    2. Candelaria

    Tucked away behind an unassuming taqueria in the lively neighborhood of Belleville, Candelaria is a hidden gem of a bar that offers a cozy and intimate atmosphere, as well as some of the best cocktails in the city. The bar’s menu features a wide range of classic and contemporary drinks, with a focus on tequila and mezcal-based concoctions. The “Candela Margarita” is a must-try, with its mix of tequila, lime, agave, and a hint of habanero. Other standout drinks include the “Redrum,” which features a blend of rum, beetroot, and ginger, and the “Midnight Express,” a mix of mezcal, coffee, and chocolate.

    Cocktail, Candelaria, Paris
    Photo: © Candelaria

      3. Le Syndicat

      Le Syndicat is a unique and innovative bar that is dedicated to showcasing the best of French spirits and liqueurs. The bar’s menu features a wide range of drinks that are made exclusively with French ingredients, including cognac, calvados, and Chartreuse. The “French Connection” is a must-try, with its mix of cognac, green Chartreuse, and honey, while the “Cocorico” is another standout, featuring a blend of calvados, vermouth, and spiced apple syrup. The bar’s decor is also noteworthy, with its exposed brick walls, vintage furnishings, and neon signage creating a retro-chic ambiance.

      Le Syndicat, Bar, Paris
      Photo: © Le Syndicat

        4. Danico

        Located in the heart of the bustling Les Halles district, Danico is a sleek and stylish cocktail bar that offers a menu of expertly crafted drinks and small plates. The bar’s menu is divided into four sections: “Classics,” “Danico Signatures,” “Seasonal,” and “Rarities,” with each section featuring a unique and creative selection of cocktails. The “Jardin de l’Atlas” is a standout drink, featuring a mix of gin, lime, cucumber, and a homemade mint tea syrup, while the “Papaye Yuzu” adds a tropical twist to the classic French 75 with the addition of papaya and yuzu. The bar’s sleek and modern decor, with its geometric patterns and minimalist design, adds to the sophisticated ambiance.

        Danico, Cocktail, Paris
        Photo: © Danico

          5. The Ritz Bar

          For a taste of luxury, head to the Ritz Bar, located in the iconic Ritz Paris hotel. The bar’s classic decor, with its plush leather seating, marble bar, and crystal chandeliers, evokes the elegance of a bygone era. The menu features a range of classic and contemporary cocktails, including the signature “Ritz Sidecar,” made with Ritz cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. The bar also offers a selection of rare and vintage spirits, including a 1926 Macallan single malt scotch, for those looking for a truly special experience.

          Ritz Bar, Paris
          Photo: © The Ritz Bar

          6. Le Comptoir Général

          Le Comptoir Général is not just a bar, but a cultural center, with its eclectic mix of art, music, and food. The bar’s menu features a range of creative cocktails, with a focus on exotic and unusual ingredients. The “Dark and Stormy” adds a French twist to the classic Caribbean cocktail with the addition of artisanal ginger beer and a homemade rhum agricole, while the “Basilic Thaï” combines Thai basil with vodka and lychee for a refreshing and fragrant drink. The bar’s decor, with its vintage furnishings and retro-chic vibe, adds to the eclectic and bohemian atmosphere.

          Comptoir Général, Cocktail, Paris
          Photo: © Le Comptoir Général

            7. Bisou

            For a taste of Parisian romance, head to Bisou, a cozy and intimate cocktail bar in the heart of the Marais district. The bar’s menu features a range of classic and contemporary drinks, with a focus on French ingredients and flavors. The “Mon Amour” is a standout drink, featuring a mix of cognac, raspberry, and rose syrup, while the “La Vie en Rose” adds a floral twist to the classic French 75 with the addition of hibiscus syrup. The bar’s dim lighting, velvet seating, and intimate atmosphere make it the perfect spot for a romantic evening.

            Bisou Bar, Cocktail, Paris
            Photo: © Bisou

              8. Bar Hemingway

              Finally, no list of Parisian cocktail bars would be complete without mentioning Bar Hemingway, located in the iconic Ritz Paris hotel. The bar is named after the famous American author, who spent much of his time in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s. The bar’s decor evokes the charm and elegance of that era, with its plush seating, dark wood paneling, and vintage artwork. The menu features a range of classic and signature cocktails, including the “Death in the Afternoon,” a mix of absinthe and champagne, inspired by Hemingway’s love of the drink. The “French 75” is another standout, made with gin, lemon juice, and Champagne, and served in a vintage coupe glass. The bar’s legendary head bartender, Colin Field, has won numerous awards for his cocktail creations, and his signature “Serendipity” cocktail, made with calvados, apple juice, and champagne, is a must-try. The bar’s luxurious ambiance and impeccable service make it the perfect spot for a special occasion.

              Hemingway Bar, Ritz, Cocktail Paris
              Photo: © Bar Hemingway

              Paris is home to some of the world’s most iconic cocktail bars, each with its own unique atmosphere, decor, and menu. From the classic elegance of the Ritz Bar to the bohemian vibe of Le Comptoir Général, there is a Parisian cocktail bar to suit every taste and mood. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic martini or a creative and experimental concoction, these ten bars are sure to impress. So next time you find yourself in the City of Light, be sure to add a few of these cocktail bars to your itinerary.

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