French Kiss Cocktail

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PREP TIME 10 min

Cocktail Type


Great for




Two French Kiss cocktails

The French Kiss Cocktail is a delicious reminder that life can be sweet and spicy at the same time. It’s a gorgeous combination of zesty orange juice overlayed with delightful hints of star anise, fennel, coriander, and mint, laced with the sweetness of grenadine.  

Super simple to whip up, and sure to make a splash at just about any get-together, this tempting drink has a history shrouded in mystery. Even dyed-in-the-wool cocktail connoisseurs can’t quite agree on where it had its origins, and technically there are actually three different cocktails that are known as a French Kiss—one spicy, one creamy, and one with a berry-based flavor profile.  

In short, think of this beguiling cocktail as a shutter-shy starlet with two body doubles who only comes out to play when she feels like it. We like to think this one is the original, simply because it’s so amazing, so let’s call that cocktail gospel, and stick to it, shall we?  



Stash your glass in the freezer for an hour or two to ensure an ice sip


For an extra citrusy cocktail, swap out the anise liqueur with Grand Marnier


Pair this kiss perfectly with spicy or rich appetizers or small bites for a delicious match



1 Person

1 Oz

30 Ml

1 Parts

0.75 Oz

22.5 Ml

0.75 Parts

anise liqueur 
2 Oz

60 Ml

2 Parts

orange juice (freshly squeezed) 
0.25 Oz

7.5 Ml

0.25 Parts

grenadine syrup 
Orange slices and cinnamon stick to garnish (optional) 



Combine the vodka, anise liqueur, and orange juice in a shaker with ice, shake until cold, and fine strain into a chilled glass 


Pour grenadine into the centre of the drink where it will sink


Garnish with orange slices and a cinnamon stick 

Here are a few fun ways in which you can customize the French Kiss drink to suit your own preferences, or those of some adventurous guests:  

Swap out the vodka for gin

Don’t have vodka around the house? Go for a London Dry Gin. We actually love the way the herbaceous notes of a nice gin overlay with the spicy notes from the anise-based liqueur.  

Try a different liqueur

Anise seed is quite a strong flavor, and often an acquired taste, so you might also consider using a different liqueur to build your own cocktail. Something like Grand Marnier will work a treat. Just be sure to taste test the liqueur alongside your other ingredients if you are planning to swap out more than one component to check that the flavors go together.  

Use another kind of juice

If you aren’t all that partial to a citrus-based drink but would still like to give the French Kiss a go, try using a different fruit juice instead. Pineapple juice and apple juice could both work well, especially when freshly squeezed or pressed. In fact, you could even push out the boat and try something novel like kombucha, although this will also impart some fizziness to the drink and change it up even more.  

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The French Kiss Cocktail is quite zesty, and after-dinner drinks often tend to be on the creamier end of the spectrum, but we like to think that this pretty drink is versatile enough to enjoy at any time. The subtle spiciness that underpins its flavor profile is certainly strong enough to round off a good meal, so go ahead and try it!