5 Drinks To Celebrate Bastille Day

Grab your beret and get ready to party — Bastille Day is July 14! If you ask me, there's no better way to celebrate than with a spirited cocktail, so I've pulled together some Bastille Day drinks that will help you enjoy the festive French holiday.

Wait — if Bastille Day is a French holiday, why the heck do we celebrate it in the United States? Allow me to explain. Bastille Day, formally known as La Fête Nationale in France, commemorates the start of the French Revolution with the Storming of Bastille on July 14, 1789. The Bastille was a fortress-prison in Paris, which basically held people captive on the basis of royal indictments that couldn't be appealed. Not fair, France.

Again, why do we care? Well, think of Bastille Day as France's Fourth of July. It remains a symbol of overcoming monarchical oppression, which is a concept that certainly resonates with the U.S. Additionally, France and the United States share very similar ideals about human rights. Even our Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence bear a lot of similarities to France's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

So celebrating Bastille Day is a great way for Americans to recognize our common background with the French, and the fact that we've been helpin' each other out for the past couple hundred years. Plus, here in the United States, we'll pretty much take any excuse we can to drink and celebrate, right?

But enough with the history lesson — let's get to the fun stuff. Here are five drinks that are perfect for celebrating Bastille Day!

1. Champagne

What kind of celebration would it be if you didn't pop at least one bottle of champagne?! Plus, considering that this bubbly beverage comes from the region of Champagne, France, you're being exceptionally festive!

2. Apéritif

The French love their apéritifs, which are refreshing pre-meal beverages that stimulate the appetite. So celebrate in French style with a gimlet or a traditional martini!

3. Red Wine

You knew this had to show up on the list somewhere. What's more French than a delicious glass of red wine? Honor the French holiday by sipping on a glass — or three — of merlot or cabernet.

4. Lillet Liberté

A preferred Bastille Day liqueur is Lillet, an apéritif wine boasting citrus flavors and an orange tang. This Lillet Liberté cocktail also has gin, orange bitters, and an orange peel garnish. Sounds tasty, doesn't it?

5. The Jacobin

With gin, red and white vermouth, and blood orange juice, this beverage packs a pretty strong punch. Plus, The Jacobin is named after a powerful French-Revolution-era club. How much more festive could you get?!

Images: Love and Lemons; Yann Caradec, Anders Adermark, Colby Stopa, Thomas Hawk/Flickr; Faith Durand/The Kitchn (2)