Taylor Swift has been enjoying a well-earned break over the winter/holiday months before the Eras Tour kicks off again in March. Swift has been cheering on her boyfriend at NFL games, attending holiday parties in Kansas City, and hanging with her whole crew on her birthday … almost always with a drink nearby. According to US Weekly, throughout it all, Swift has a new “favorite cocktail” and it’s a very niche and nuanced sipper — the French Blonde.
The French Blonde falls into the early aughts resurgence of cocktail culture — the key giveaway is the use of elderflower liqueur St. Germain. Beyond that, the drink is a shaker that’s part Red Head, part Greyhound, and 100% fresh thanks to vibrant grapefruit juice and dry gin. It’s also not to be confused with the Parisian Blonde which is more akin to a Brandy Alexander (so cream-based).
Since this is a new fav of Swift, I thought I’d break down how to make the tasty cocktail below. Admittedly, this is a kind of fussy cocktail. Some of the ingredients are a tad harder to find and a trip to a very good liquor store will be in order (I link to everything hard to find below for delivery too). Fussiness aside, this is a very tasty, light yet deep, and balanced cocktail that’s — thankfully — not overly sweet.
Let’s dive in!
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- 1 oz. London dry gin
- 2 oz. Lillet Blanc
- 0.5 oz. St. Germain
- 2 oz. fresh and strained grapefruit juice
- 2 dashes of lemon bitters
- Grapefruit peel
Bombay London Dry Gin is a great cocktail gin that’s both affordable and available pretty much everywhere. St. Germain (elderflower liqueur) should also be available at most decent liquor stores in large 750ml, 375ml, and small 200ml bottles. Since this is a pretty niche additive for cocktails, I’d recommend grabbing the smaller bottle so that it doesn’t just sit on your shelf for months (or years).
Or, if you’re a huge Swift fan, grab the big bottle and go all in.
Lillet Blanc is a French aperitif that’s in the same vein as fortified wines like vermouth (and it’s usually used in the same way in cocktails). In a pinch, you can use dry vermouth, but you won’t be getting the same subtle sweetness and hint of bitter quinine. Plus, a good liquor store should carry Lillet.
Lastly, there’s the lemon bitters. Only really good full-service liquor stores will carry this. So you might want to just order it online and save a trip to, like, all the liquor stores in your town searching for it.
What You’ll Need:
- Coupe (prechilled)
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail strainer
- Fine mesh strainer
- Paring knife
- Hand juicer
- Add the gin, Lillet, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, and bitters to a cocktail shaker. Add a large handful of ice, affix the lid, and then shake vigorously until the cocktail shaker is ice-cold to touch.
- Fetch the glass from the freezer and double strain (with the cocktail strainer and fine mesh strainer) into the cocktail glass.
- Express the oils from the grapefruit peel over the glass and discard. Serve.
This is bright and super refreshing, which is a great feel for January sipping. It’s a great change of pace from the heavy winter cocktails that dominate the colder months, and it kind of feels like a good low(ish) alcohol cocktail for a “damp” January.
The grapefruit and lemon bitters make this cocktail pop on the palate. It’s truly vibrant in every way. The gin is there with a fleeting sense of botanicals, but it is never overpowering — you barely get juniper at all.
The overall vibe is soft yet bright and well-balanced between bitter, botanical, herbal, and barley sweetened — the sweetness only comes through with the Lillet and grapefruit (which is one of the sweeter citruses). For my palate, I have to say — it’s a pretty nice sipper.
Hidden Track: Vodka Diet Coke
So this — vodka and Diet Coke — is classically considered Taylor Swift’s favorite cocktail. Watch the video above again. She clearly actually drinks this. Which… are celebrities keeping Diet Coke alive? Why not Coke Zero? I digress.
Anyway, this is a super easy highball that anyone can make in an instant.
- 2 oz. vodka
- 4 oz. Diet Coke
- Lemon wedge
These are easily sourceable ingredients from any store.
What You’ll Need:
- Highball glass
- Paring knife
- Fill the highball glass with ice. Pour the vodka over the ice and top with Diet Coke.
- Slice a wedge from a lemon and pop it on the glass with a straw. Serve.
Okay, bear with me. I like this a lot more than the French Blonde. There’s something that vodka does to amp up the Diet Coke that just works. It’s fresh and vibrant while feeling like a sneaky treat with a hint of alcohol lurking beneath it all. You get the loving feel of the Coke without that acrid Diet Coke taste, which feels kind of like a magic trick. I can see drinking these all the time as end-of-day relaxation highballs, weekend brunch sippers, or just in general — which is saying a lot as I famously hate Diet Coke.
Nice one, Swift.