Benoît Marinos of La Cidrerie
A chat with the owner of a French cider bar in Paris
One of the great things about writing a book about French drinks was going outside of my “lane,” so to speak. I was fascinated by the culture of French drinks, everything from Cognac to beer, and wanted to take a deep dive into the subject and share what I knew, and what I learned. The subject is vast and I couldn’t include an in-depth discussion of every boisson in the French canon—quite a few, like Armagnac, wine, eaux-de-vie, pastis, and even cider, merit their own books. (American cider, on the other hand, has been written about.)
In the case of French apple cider, Benoît Marinos decided that it merited its own space in Paris to enjoy it. And when I discovered La Cidrerie, I was so taken with it that I wrote about it on my blog, to spread the word. Happily, others shared my affection for it, and the La Cidrerie just celebrated its third anniversary.
In France, Benoît told me just after he opened, cider isn’t given the same respect as wine; it’s generally a drink you enjoy with crêpes, often purchased at the supermarket (for €3/bottle) and the quality was secondary. But France, as well as Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, and other countries, produce stellar, naturally-fermented ciders made with heirloom apples, and at times, with pears and quince. Many of them are on offer at La Cidrerie in bottles and on tap.
I recently sat down for a chat with Benoît at La Cidrerie. His Bar, Cave, and Atelier (as he calls it) is perfectly located on the banks of the scenic, and trendy, Canal St. Martin, as he prepares to open his second location in the 17th arrondissement. He’s one of my favorite people to talk to in Paris and I hope you enjoy this podcast episode!