We're probably lucky not to be living in 18th-century France, but one thing we're missing out on from the era? The enviable foods and drinks the aristocrats enjoyed (well, before they were trucked off to the guillotine).
Now, a New York City bar called Le Boudoir is aiming to give us a taste of what living in the era would've been like, for a certain crowd, anyway. The underground Rococo-style bar, which you enter via the adjacent French restaurant Chez Moi, pays tribute to the legacy of Marie Antoinette and her squad with lavish decor and over-the-top cocktails.
The owners, and husband-and-wife duo, Tarek Debira and Patricia Ageheim styled the gold-leaf-tinged, velvety interior after Antoinette’s private chambers at Versailles. The opulence continues to the unconventional cocktails. The expertly crafted, French-inspired drinks are made with unusual ingredients, served in regal stemware and silver goblets, and named in homage of Marie Antoinette and company.
You can try a drink named after Axel Von Fersen, friend of The Queen, Swedish count, and Lieutenant General in the Royal Swedish Army. His namesake cocktail ($12; pictured below) is made with apple-flavored liqueur, bourbon, sesame paste, curry powder, and black caraway. While this drink won't appeal to everyone, "it’s for the adventurous, and has proven to be one of our most popular drinks," says beverage director Franky Marshall.
Or go for the Dauphin ($13; pictured below), the title given to the heir apparent to the throne of France from 1350 to 1791 and 1824 to 1830; the namesake drink offers a regal sipping experience. The cocktail involves chocolate-chili bitters, simple syrup, chile liqueur, absinthe, and coconut almond milk. Cacao nibs and star anise garnish the drink, which is served in an absinthe glass that arrives in front of you in a bowl of pebble ice.
Of course, what’s a Marie Antoinette-style bar without a little cake? The Eat Cake ($12; pictured below) is a rich blend of vodka, lemon peel grappa-based liqueur, chocolate liqueur, vanilla, cream and fresh lemon juice, all topped with sprinkles. "Since Marie Antoinette's spirit looms large at Le Boudoir, we thought we should have a drink paying tribute to the most famous phrase she may have actually never said. Think vanilla cake with lemon frosting… and sprinkles,” explains Marshall. Because sometimes you can have your cake, and drink it too.
Axel Von Fersen recipe
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
.5 oz Housemade sesame paste
.5 oz Bourbon
1.5 oz Applejack
Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker, then add two solid ice cubes. Give the mix a short shake. Fine-strain it into a small goblet over one large ice cube. Carefully place a pinch of black caraway on top of the ice cube.
Photos courtesy of Le Boudoir.
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