calvados cocktail

The French highball : a thirst-quenching Calvados cocktail

The French highball is mix of all things French hugging each other in a cocktail. It’s a Calvados cocktail, a Cognac cocktail and it’s also a Champagne cocktail! how amazing is that??


I came up with this drink because I’m literally counting down the days until my next holiday!! (-6 as of today)

You might have figured, I’m going to France for a few days!! The plan is to stay in Paris for a couple of days before heading off to Reims to explore the champagne region for a little while. 

As it happens, I don’t always feel like making complicated cocktails at home after an 8 hours shift behind the bar.. I usually simply drink a dram of scotch or tequila, or a small glass of sherry before heading off to bed. 

Recently though, I introduced my husband to a simple favorite of mines: the whisky highball. He got hooked and we almost started a tradition: he would wait for me to get home, he’d prepare the drinks and then we would drink them and chat for while, relaxing before going to sleep.

The other night, i brought home some champagne syrup and decided to switch thing around. I combined it with cognac and calvados and a delicious cocktail was born!

The cocktail itself is refreshing and fruity with a touch of acidity coming from the champagne syrup. The fruitiness comes from the distilled spirits, so you can expect it to still taste quite dry. Sooo good!


lulu fedi


My name is Lulu and I am a cocktail creatress, menu developer, consultant and blogger based in the wonderful Scottish highlands.

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The French Highball

calvados cocktail



  • Build all ingredients in a highball glass
  • top with soda water
  • briefly stir to combine everything
  • Serve over ice



  • Apple fan or lemon peel


Calvados is a apple brandy produced in the Normandy region of france (which is in the northern part of the country, above Paris). What I like about this spirit is the dry fruity notes that it imparts to any cocktail that you use it in. Its crisp apple note and light zestiness are always coming thorough nicely.

Cognac is a grape brandy with a AOC (appelation d’origine controllée) for the specific region in the western part of France which also has to follow certain production methods by law. Most cognacs are nicely smooth with nouanced fruitiness in them. 

Champagne syrup. Who on earth would turn good champagne into a syrup you might ask?? And I hear you, and I can guarantee that I’m not a monster. The only reason this happens is that working in a bar, it sometimes happens to have bottles going flat. And turning delicious champagne into syrup is a way to avoid pouring it down the sink. 

To make Champagne syrup, simply reduce the champagne in a pan over low heat with sugar (measure a third of the champagne weight), let cool and add a touch of citric acid (proportion 10:1 which means for every 100g of syrup, you’ll add 1g of citric acid).

So, here we go, what did you think of this calvados cocktail? 

Let me know in the comment section below and do share this calvados cocktail/ france inspired drink recipe around if you liked it!

 Happy mixing! 


Suitably Sloshed

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