Padma Lakshmi in Search of America
David Welcome back to. thank you so much. I'm thrilled to be here, so your latest book is about drinking French, and it covers among other things, para teeth. The French have a very different meaning associated with that word. What is para? It's not just the cocktail. Well a para chief. It's the time of day between when you're done working and when you're going to have dinner, it's kind of a transition time you know the word comes from the Latin. You know to open up it sort of mentor. Open up your appetite for dinner, but in France also people eat late the alcohol. These cocktails appear Atif are not supposed to be like a sturdy American cocktail with three ounces of alcohol so. So, just describe what therefore and what they're like well a lot of the Pera tapes that we that we associate with France such as do bony lillay variously were health tonics had quinine in them, which one distiller told me goes it. That was the CBD of the Eighteen Ninety S. it was quite everybody wanted quinine. They used to have much higher alcohol content, and then they lowered the alcohol down, so they were more drinkable. Ice Cubes in them and so forth. And I think some of that might have been modeled after pestis. When that became popular, everyone was sort of leisurely drinking list drank adding to this class over the course of several hours. You talk about cafes a lot and you say I often referred to cafes. Is The living rooms of Paris? Everyone's welcome to gather there whether you're spent the night sweeping. The streets are working the streets. How does that play into this whole story about drinking and apparent teves well people? It's hard to underestimate the importance of a French cafe to a French person. I was I was in Italy a few years ago and I was like where all the cafes and there are cafes, but it not like Paris where there's like five on every block, just wanted every corner, French equal, or so into being convivial with their friends, meeting their friends, and they use cafes, not just somewhere to get a drink, but it's really somewhere to spend time. It's sort of like your home away from home. Well. We spoken about this before. But the you talk a lot about the French are really good at doing nothing in particular, but really enjoying the moment, and that plays into your whole book drinking from Yes. Yes. I I'm somebody that always has to be doing something and I really had to dial down my you know my own expectations of of my ability to just you know, turn off in. Just sit somewhere and be. Newsy and French verb to be. and. You know it's taken me a couple of years actually I can do it. I can go to a cafe and do nothing, but it's hard. I usually have to bring a book with me or I bring my laptop. But the French are very you go to cafes in. Someone's just sitting there for like three hours. And they're thinking about stuff. which is something that I aspire to? Let's talk about specific drinks you right? I marveled at the barrels of wine, left in the open Mediterranean air to intentionally oxidized became vermouth. I didn't know. vermouth is oxidized wine I. I thought it was wine. Our alcohol flavored with herbs and some other things you know all these things were the same to me. There were a lot of discoveries you know I always felt like. Like I know Vermouth, it's a it's a wine fortified aromatized wine with herbs and spices in it, and then I went. I went down to Marcel Annoy Lee Pratt vermouth is made, and they had thousand barrels outside, and they said yes. That's the flavor of our vermouth. The wine used to come from Spain on boats, and it got oxidized, and we wanNA keep that going. So, learning about what makes all these things different and interesting such as oxidizing wine intentionally for a year in the open air, give it a little saltiness and age. Surly the point, my life where I think a little saltiness in which is. Pretty pretty good I'm all for that, I'm making my living being salty in aged. At this point you and me both. You also mention a drink which you like. Call the long hello. Could you talk about that? Because that really appeal to me, but I love the name that was invented by a bar man called Damian Bolt. WHO has a bar? Really Great Bar in Brooklyn called Grand Army, and he came up with this cocktail, which has calvados in Apple Brandy from Normandy and then elder flower liqueur, and then you top the glass office, Champagne and a little nutmeg. And what's interesting about the French is they often say Oh, you should never defile wine or champagne like. Do not put ice in it do not. All these rules, and then there's all these drinks like the Kiro. The basically that you champagne as a base you know and they you add stuff to it. It's interesting because years ago, I went to a champagne dinner. With the owner of the most prestigious Champagne House and he said to me, you're better off putting an ice cube in a glass of champagne than drinking a warm glass of champagne. So. What's the difference between entertaining and France versus entertaining here in the states? Okay well. Actually read an article once for Ex pats about how to get used to going to a fringe party, because Americans are usually boisterous and lively, and are moving around and meeting people and having fun. Where's the French are more into discussions, so it's a different atmosphere. I, often joke like I've never been to an American dinner party. Where English grammar has come up as a point of discussion and debate and I think every French dinner party I've been to. Someone has brought up something about the French language people. Say Oh, you know you use the past participle of at, and it should be the imperfect. But my partners French and he told me he goes. You need to smile more. Oh. Tell! You don't smile and Paris because they'll know. You're American I was like I'm trying to look more friend. She's like you need to smile more. David Lee evinces outdone the French. David, it's been a real pleasure. Thank you for coming back to monster. Yes, it's always a pleasure to talk to you next time I see you. I think we should have a cocktail or two pair of teeth. Thanks David Bye bye.