Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bonne Bastille

Viva la Revolucion!

Many, many moons ago, I had the unfortunate experience of missing the Fourth of July in the United States. I was in Paris, riding on a Bateau Mouches boat down the Seine. Though I enjoyed seeing many Americans sprinkled across several bridges spanning the river, waving sparklers and hand drawn posters, my heart longed for a cookout, illegal fireworks and John Philip Sousa.

Less than ten days later, I was back home, missing the fanfare of a real, French Bastille Day holiday.

Many Americans will go through today's tasks and obligations, not realizing today marks the day when the French people launched an uprising, laying the groundwork to disolve the monarchy and establish a citizen-run government.

The people stormed the Bastille, a fortress that imprisoned people on the basis of arbitrary royal order, on July 14, 1789. The initial intention was not to free the political prisoners, but gain access to the large cache of gunpowder and weaponry kept at the prison.

The revolt is considered the turning point in the French Revolution and a symbol of France's rebirth as a modern nation.

A Champagne Cocktail is a perfect way to toast to our French friends across the pond.

The classic Champagne Cocktail requires a sugar cube, a few splashes of Angostura bitters and your favorite bubbly. If you like your cocktail a bit stronger, you can float cognac or Campari on top for a little kick.

Another concoction, the Kir Royale, involves a quick pour of either Creme de Cassis or Chambord in the bottom of a flute glass, topped with champagne. This simple cocktail is on the sweet side, so you might want to steer clear if you like your drinks a little more full bodied.

Another perfect drink for the day:

French Revolution
In a mixing glass with ice combine:
1 1/2 oz. Brandy
1/2 oz. Framboise
strain into a chilled champagne flute.
Top with champagne.

Raise a glass to independence. Raise a glass to freedom.

Raise a glass to the French.

I won't even tell if you use your favorite American sparkler...

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

1 comment:

The Notorious N.A.T said...

Yay! I love this post - and so thankful that Jeff and I got to celebrate our respective holidays in the appropriate countries this year. It was great seeing the fireworks over the Eiffel Tower - and almost as nice as being in my uncle's backyard for some roadside goodies.