Dining in France
Drinking in France
Soft drinks and juices are common, as is tea (thé) or infusions (herbal tea). Water, (eau) is usually drunk with meals. If you would like tap water, request Eau Nature. Bottled water is most common with bubbles, such as Perrier. If you prefer water without bubbles order Evian. Ice cubes are quite uncommon, and may be available only in Mc Donald's or overpriced establishments catering to tourists.
Milk (lait) is regularly served only with coffee for breakfast and not with any other meal. Ordering a glass of milk with a meal is not common.
Coffee is made almost completely from espresso machines. It is common with breakfast, during the day, or after your dessert with dinner.
Biére is consumed during the daytime as a refreshing drink. It is often bottled, but may be available on tap (á la pression). Most beer is light in color (blonde), though dark (brune) is available.
The French will often have an Apéritif before a meal, much as we might order a cocktail. These are wine based, fortified with brandy, and infused with fruit and herb flavors. They can be sweet, bitter, or bittersweet.
Except for hotels that cater to international tourists and business travelers, you will not easily find an American style cocktail. You may find a bar that has a sign saying "Bar Américain," which signifies that they serve familiar cocktails. But even then you may not find the same selection or understanding. For example, if you order a Martini, you will be served sweet (Martini & Rossi) vermouth. Your best bet is to stick with the local drink, wine!
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