The Pernod Cocktail

by Will on May 12, 2012

One of my favorite series of plays is the Fanny trilogy by Marcel Pagnol, who was one of the most popular French writers and filmmakers of the 20th century. It is also a series of 1930s movies. Even though some of Pagnol’s other movies have been popular in the US (Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, most notably), the Fanny trilogy has been out of print for a long time. It is only available on VHS, and good luck finding a rare VHS title. There is an American adaptation that was made in the 50s, removing much of the dialogue and altering the story, but it is not as good.

(It would appear that Alice Waters is also partial to this series, as she named restaurants after three of its characters: Cesar, Fanny, and Panisse.)

The trilogy also has never been published in English. Or rather, there exists one manuscript translation of it, in a university library in Utah. I tried producing a translation myself, but found it too time-consuming to attempt without remuneration.

Consequently, I have not been able to share it with my girlfriend. We watched the 50s adaptation together and she liked it, but I’ve never been able to show her the real deal.

What I can share with her is the Pernod Cocktail. Because the characters of the Fanny trilogy spend their time at a bar on the Vieux Port of Marseilles, drinking Pernod and Ricard, I have a certain affection for the stuff. However, neither my girlfriend nor I enjoys drinking it straight. Even in France, it is usually served with water to dilute it. But I find the Pernod Cocktail is an even better vehicle for it.

The Pernod Cocktail:

1 1/2 oz. Pernod

One cube of sugar

1/2 oz. water

4 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir on ice and serve straight up.


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