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April 2020 Newsletter

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This time last month seems like a long, long time ago, the world has changed quite a bit since then. As you read this, we've been in confinement for more than two weeks in France. They finally closed the outdoor markets as people were not social-distancing at them here, although I hear some are still operating in other parts of the country. So I've been going to the grocery store, the natural foods store, and bakery near me, trying to shop at off-hours and going as little as possible, as in - once a week - to avoid contact with others. It hasn't been easy and sometimes I feel like I'm shopping in a pachinko machine as people hurl themselves in my direction, reaching for eggs or onions, or impatiently inching themselves forward in the queue at the boulangerie, while I ricochet away to keep a safe distance. I arrive home a little more tired than when I left, but I'm happy to have food to buy.

There hasn't been the massive hoarding in France, although rice and pasta shelves are close to bare, but there are little-to-no face masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, gloves, or alcohol to be found. Any that are, are probably earmarked for medical professionals, as they should be.

Thankfully there is food on the shelves at our supermarkets, but French farmers are having a tough go as people aren't buying nearly the same amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, even though you can find them on the grocery shelves, but transport has become much more difficult for them. Some French farmers have asked for volunteers to help pick produce.

We've been fine although it took about a week to adjust to the new norm. I hit a wall (or two) that first week, but now that we're further into it, I'm spending time working on a few things online (more below) as well as polishing up some older blog posts with new photos since back then, I only had a goofy point-and-shoot camera, which at the time, was cutting edge technology. When you work at home, you're used to being indoors but it takes some adjusting to having someone else around. On the upside, Romain washes dishes. (He's been trained by the best...moi!)

Drinking French book cover

Because my book tour was postponed (hopefully not canceled!), I decided to use Instagram IGTV to do Live videos for Apéro Hour, also known as Happy Hour. I'm trying to keep them on a regular schedule, doing them at 6pm CET (Paris) time, which is Noon ET and 9am PT. You can ask Google "When it's 6 pm or 18hr in Paris, what time is it in__________(insert your city here0?" and it'll tell you what time it is where you are.

Like most technology, I've yet to master all of it, but it's fun mixing and shaking up cocktails with you, reading comments and taking questions, and giving you some background about French spirits. Don't forget to tune in!

Here's the schedule for the rest of this week...

Wednesday: Questions and Answers; Because I get a number of questions while making the drinks every evening, I can't answer that many questions. So tonight I'll be taking questions from readers.

Thursday: I can't wait to chat with cookbook author and New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark. She'll be presenting her recipe for Lavender Lemonade from her new book, Dinner in French.

(SPECIAL OFFER! Book Larder in Seattle is offering a promotion in conjunction with our talk. If you get both books, Drinking French, they are giving 10% off both books as well as free U.S. media mail shipping. The promotion is good through midnight Sunday this week, Pacific Time. Use the discount code FRENCH.]

Friday: How to make a Kir royal with Romain (who is back by popular demand!)

Saturday: Mixing up a calvados (apple brandy) cocktail with bartender Margot Lecarpentier, the owner of Combat bar in Paris, who is featured in Drinking French.

Sunday: Day of rest : )

Notes: If you can't watch the videos Live, they are archived on my Instagram Channel page and in my Facebook feed, for viewing anytime. Malheureusement, comments left during the videos don't appear in the archived videos. Also live videos that feature a guest, such as Melissa and Margot, can't be archived. So you'll need to tune in at the right time to watch those ones live.

I do put a countdown clock in my Instagram Stories on the day of the video so you can set a reminder for yourself. I'll do my best to put a reminder in both my Instagram and Facebook feeds each day as well, although I get overwhelmed with some of the planning and invariably may miss something. So better for you to set an alert on your phone or elsewhere if you don't want to miss them. As you know, things are a little crazy right now...

So that's it for this month. Please, take care of yourself and others wherever you are. In times like this, we see and expect the best of people. Practice good hygiene, social-distance to protect yourself and others, give thanks to people in the medical community who are working extra-hard at this time, while putting their own health at risk. Also take extra measures to be nice to others. The world is scarred from the last few years and maybe now is the time to heal some of those wounds and come together. We're all in this together. That's the only way we're going to get through this.

xx - david


Some Drinking French News

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Photo from Drinking French by Ed Anderson

I was on The New Paris podcast chatting with Lindsey Tramuta.

My interview and Q+A about French drinks are online with Imbibe magazine.

I gave Wine Magazine some tips on buying wine and cheese in Paris.

Epicurious rounds-up the best cookbooks of spring, including Drinking French.

I discuss French coffee and cocktails with Evan Kleiman on her KCRW Good Food podcast.

Although not drinks-related (well, it does have Marsala...) The Kitchn rated my Chicken Marsala recipe as the best of the bunch.

Liquor.com calls out the best spirits books of the spring, including Drinking French. (My book also has dozens of non-alcoholic café drinks, and a chapter of appetizer snack recipes, too!)

Frenchly calls Drinking French "the ultimate guide to French coffee, cocktails and apéritifs."

Drinking French charcuterie board

Photo from Drinking French by Ed Anderson

If you make something from the book, or just want to show off your copy of it, use the hashtag #drinkingfrench so I can see it, leave a comment for you, and maybe regram it, like Ryan Reynolds did with Drinking French (omg!) And should you feel so inclined, leaving a review on Amazon is always appreciated, too : )

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

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kitchen Arts & Letters / Indiebound / Book Depository (free int'l shipping) / Book Larder / Powell's / RJ Julia / Omnivore / Books are Magic / White Whale / Now Serving / and other bookstores.

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Recent Recipes and Posts on My Blog

Drinking French came out! An inside look at the book...

My marmalade bender last month included several jars of this glorious Pink Grapefruit Marmalade.

...and make these lovely, and delicious Candied Grapefruit Peels with the rinds.

I gave the classic Manhattan a full-on French makeover with this French Manhattan recipe.

Not much fruit available? Take advantage of spring rhubarb to make this Red Wine Poached Rhubarb. I updated the post with new pictures and instructions.

These Chocolate Chip "Kitchen Sink" Cookies (above) are loaded with all sorts of wonderful stuff, including candied peanuts and dark, bittersweet, melting chunks of chocolate.

A favorite appetizer in the south of France, here's my recipe for Socca, which is naturally gluten-free, and 100% addictive. (And I use that word sparingly. So here I really mean it.)

The Vieux Carré cocktail makes a comeback!

À votre santé...


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