Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father’s Day Festivity...

“Boire un petit coup c’est agreable…”

France has many songs that hail the pleasure of drinking. I remember my dad (who is from the Mediterranean town of Beaulieu sur /mer) merrily singing the tunes on appropriate occasions – working in the yard, firing up the barbeque, or indulging in a favorite libation...

“Boire un petit coup” translates to “have a little drink.” A popular drink from the sunny southern coast is Ricard, an anise-flavored liqueur typical of Provence. There is a saying in the region which says a day without wine is a day without sun. The word “wine” in the Provencal regions is often replaced with “Ricard.”

Ricard tastes and smells like licorice and has a slightly amber color, until poured over ice cubes and mixed with water. It then turns a milky and opaque, and smells like a candy store. I was allowed tiny sips to taste it, as a kid, and even then enjoyed the sweet herbal vapor Ricard emanates.

While not commonly drunk in the US, it is available in high-end liquor stores. It is very refreshing on a hot day, and makes a wonderful aperitif. Definitely worth a taste, if you haven’t sampled it already.

I’ll be lifting a glass to my dad for Father’s Day, and humming a jovial tune, in his honor… “Un petit coup, tra-la-la, un petit coup, tra-la-la…”

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