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March 2020 Newsletter

Drinking French book cover

I'm very excited to announce that today marks the release of Drinking French: The iconic cocktails, apéritifs, and café traditions of France, with 160 recipes! That's why this newsletter is coming to you on March 3rd instead of the usual, and usually punctual, first of the month.

The book has been over two years in the making and I hope you like reading it and making the recipes from it as much I did writing it. So I'm very thrilled that it's out in the world, and it's been gratifying hearing and reading feedback from those who pre-ordered their books, and got them a few days early.

I had a great book launch in Paris at WHSmith bookstore last week; it was a pleasure to meet everyone who attended. As always, the bookstore did a great job stocking books and providing staff to help, and it was extra-wonderful that Comté cheese, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, and Poilâne bakery offered generous samples to all who attended. On a personal note, I appreciated people leaving me a few slices of Poilâne's raisin-rye bread for my breakfast over the next few days...

Now that copies of Drinking French are available, you can pick one up at your favorite independent booksellers, Indiebound, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, which is selling autographed copies. And if you want to be my BFF, you're welcome to leave a positive review on Amazon, too!

In other news, March is a midway point between seasons so there's not much fruit at the market. Tangerines and clementines are winding down, and the apples still look appealing, but to keep spirits bright, I stocked up on pink grapefruits and was gifted a few citrons (cédrats) so have been making marmalade and candying the citrons for later. There's a terrific Grapefruit-Vermouth Marmalade recipe on my blog, which is a great way to start the day on a slice of buttered toast, as well as a Grapefruit-Campari Sorbet, that is tangy and refreshing after dinner. (Pro tip: You can also blend it with a little gin and some ice cubes for a slushy in the summer.)

Artichokes are coming in, although I'm still hanging on to winter greens like chicory, treviso, kale, radicchio, and dandelion leaves, which I like to wilt in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, and a few red pepper flakes. Tossed with whole wheat pasta and topped with crumbled feta, you've (or I've) got a great, very simple - yet hearty - dinner. Sometimes I add bacon or slices of sausage if I want something meatier.

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Of course, all-year-round...there's French cheese. I can't resist buying any and all that look interesting so will happily take a chance on one I've not heard of. And in France, where there's cheese, there's Soufflé au fromage, and I've got a recipe for my go-to/favorite one coming up on my blog. I want to give it a go with cheddar before posting because not everyone can get French cheese where they live, so after I get that tested, I'll be posting it.

I'll also be posting some drinks-related stories as I continue to work on the 100+ bottles I've collected from researching and writing Drinking French. Oh...I did a Q+A about the book in my Instagram Stories. I got cut off before I could answer all of the questions from readers, but a common one was, "Are there recipes that don't involve alcohol in the book?"

The answer to that is a resounding - Yes! While there's a sparkling cocktail on the cover, Drinking French starts off with over two dozen café drinks, which include three different recipes for Hot Chocolate (the long-awaited publication of my recipe for Hot Chocolate with Salted Butter Caramel) including homemade marshmallows to float on top, a trio of cool Chocolate and Coffee Frappés, herbal infusions called Tisanes, recipes for making French-style sparkling and regular Lemonade from scratch, and a Ginger-Rosemary Lemonade from my local café, that kept me happy when I had to go off coffee for a while.

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Lastly, I should mention that I'm getting messages from people asking about travel to France. As I'm not a doctor - much to my mother's chagrin - I can't give you any definitive answers. And much to my own chagrin, I can't predict the future. (If I could, I'd be buying lottery tickets!) But the medical community in France is doing their best at informing the public of risks and health news isn't being politicized in France, so hopefully we're getting accurate information. Having lived through a few earthquakes in San Francisco I've learned to keep a few supplies on hand "just in case..." but daily life in France continues.

But if you're staying home, you can still eat and drink French with one of my books : ) And I'm looking forward to shaking and stirring more things up this month along with you!

- David


Drinking French News

Drinking French book cover

Yes, the book is finally out - yay! Here are a few links where you can listen to, and read more, about Drinking French...

-I did an interview with my neighbor, Lindsey Tramuta on her podcast, The New Paris, which you can listen to here.

-Check out my chat with Forest Collins of 52Martinis for a spirited podcast, includes our favorite bars in Paris, and a simple cocktail recipe from Drinking French.

-Amazon Book Review features Drinking French as one of the top French-themed books this spring. Oh-la-la...

-I talked to Lush Life on the subject of how to drink French.

-Award-winning spirits writer Brad Thomas Parsons profiled me on Punch while I was writing the book.

▪ In The Making of Drinking French, I explore how the book was researched, written, photographed, and edited, everything from climbing the French alps in search of herbals liqueurs, to picking out the font with the indefatigable book designer.
In The Making of Drinking French, I explore how the book was researched, written, photographed, and edited, everything from climbing the French alps in search of herbals liqueurs, to picking out the font with the indefatigable book designer.
Drinking French City of Light p80

Photo from Drinking French by Ed Anderson

If you make something from the book, or just want to show me your copy of it, feel free to use the hashtag #drinkingfrench so I can see it and leave you a comment. And should you feel so inclined, leaving a positive review on Amazon is always appreciated, too : )

To get your copy, Drinking French can now be purchased at these independent and online booksellers:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kitchen Arts & Letters / Indiebound / Book Depository (free int'l shipping) / Kitchen Larder / Powell's / RJ Julia / Omnivore

International orders can be placed at Book Depository which offers free-shipping of Drinking French worldwide.

Drinking French book by David Lebovitz-4

Recent Recipes and Posts on My Blog

What's it like to write and produce a cookbook? The Making of Drinking French takes you behind the scenes, including travels around France, taking the photos for the book, the back-and-forth we had on the fonts...and more!

A round-up of interesting links.

This smoky chipotle slow-cooked pork is perfect with a bowl of rice and beans or folded into corn tortillas for tacos. I also put in a few words about "Get to the recipe!" and over 165 readers chimed in.

A classic French Riz au lait, French rice pudding with caramelized salted almonds. Spoiler: The almonds are dangerously easy to make, and eat, and you'll find yourself putting them on everything once you make 'em.


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