French Pearl Cocktail Recipe

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French Pearl Cocktail in coupe glass

Not all gorgeous cocktails hark back to the 1920s—some, like the French Pearl Cocktail, were actually created this side of the 21st century.  

Great American bartender Audrey Saunders dreamed it up in 2006 to serve as the flagship cocktail at the Pegu Club in NYC, which has since closed its doors. The appeal of this misty white drink is still as strong as ever, however. According to its maker, it pays tribute to the architecture of France in the 1800s, with a perfectly balanced taste profile that is a feast for the senses from the very first sip.  

How to make a French Pearl cocktail the easy way

Here is our tried and tested recipe for this popular pearl cocktail that will have you shaking up a showstopper drink in no time at all:   



London Dry Gin is a great choice for this cocktail


Fresh lime juice makes it extra zesty


Pairs beautifully with salty snacks like salted almonds



1 Person

60 Ml

2 Oz

2 Parts

teaspoon absinthe
20 Ml

0.67 Oz

0.67 Parts

lime juice
20 Ml

0.67 Oz

0.67 Parts

rock candy syrup 
1 sprig fresh mint or a lime wedge to garnish



Add the gin, absinthe, lime juice and rock candy syrup to a cocktail shaker with the mint and muddle it together


Add ice and stir well


Strain into a chilled cocktail glass


Garnish with another sprig of mint or a lime wedge and serve

Steps to making a flawless French Pearl Cocktail

Choose a great gin 

We love using a London Dry gin for the French Pearl cocktail because it has such a pure character. Using a fantastic spirit as the base of your drink allows the ingredients you layer on top of it to come into their own and create a wonderful taste experience.  

You might also like: 11 Effortlessly Elegant Summer Gin Cocktails 

Squeeze the lime juice fresh 

Fresh lime juice adds a sparkly green note to this drink that is just out of this world. Of course, it’s completely fine to use shop-bought as well, but if you have the opportunity to do so, get squeezing! 

Go with spearmint 

The classic and most common mint variety used in the French Pearl is spearmint (Mentha spicata). This lovely herb has a light, bright sweetness that mellows and elevates a spirit at the same time, and evens out drinks that err on the sweet side of the spectrum.  

Take your time with the muddle 

When you muddle a drink like the French Pearl, your aim should be to release the essential oils from the mint without manhandling it too much. As such, it is advised to go slowly and take your time. The best tool to use is a wooden muddling spoon, but you can also use a takeaway chopstick if you don’t have one handy.  

Pair it with some tasty eats 

Zesty, refreshing cocktails like the French Pearl pair well with morish canapés like deep-fried shrimp and nuts like salted almonds and pistachios.  


A French Pearl is a delightful cocktail that combines Bulldog Gin, absinthe, freshly squeezed lime juice, rock candy syrup and fresh mint.  

French cocktails often feature Champagne. This includes very famous drinks like everyone's brunchtime darling, the zesty Mimosa, as well as the always stylish Kir Royale.  

While France does not have an official cocktail per se, there are a few iconic drinks that are undeniably French. This includes the French 75 cocktail and the French Martini which are often cited as must-have French cocktails.

Pastis is anise or licorice-flavoured liqueur native to the South of France that is revered as a classic French drink. This liqueur can be enjoyed pure, but is most often diluted with water before serving.

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