When the Safest Trip is in the Mind’s Eye

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A dear friend recently sent me the recipe for a cocktail called the French Riviera and I immediately flashed back to my childhood. Our family had embarked on a trip across Europe and while I was only 12-years-old and innocent to the temptations of alcohol, the experience remains indelibly stamped in my mind.

We visited Italy, France, Monaco, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria and England – not necessarily in that order. So many incredible meals and so many amazing sights and sounds.

Today, travel is largely limited to the distance one can tolerate sitting in the car, thoughts of distant lands a hazy dream for another day. In the meantime, a creative cocktail can help recapture a pleasant moment from the past, and transport us to a beautiful place in our minds. Give this libation a try and see if you can conjure up a memory worth the journey.

Photos by Karyn L. Giss 

French Riviera


  • 1 and 1/2 oz. Cognac
  • 1/2 oz. Golden Rum
  • 2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of apricot jam
  • Orange peel and sprig of mint to garnish


  1. Pour cognac, rum, lemon juice, honey and apricot jam into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously until honey is fully dissolved.
  3. Add ice to shaker, then shake vigorously again.
  4. Strain into a martini glass.
  5. Add shaved orange peel and mint to garnish.
  6. Bottom’s up! (Makes two drinks.)

David Pitlik is a corporate writer by day, a comedy writer from a previous life, and a lover of great food, wonderful drink and sparkling banter with good friends. 

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