French Blonde: The 5-Ingredient Cocktail Beloved By Taylor Swift

We love a celebrity-approved cocktail, from Frank Sinatra's beloved Rusty Nail to Emma D'Arcy's knack for the Negroni Sbagliato (a lighter take on the negroni made with prosecco). If you want to drink what your favorite celeb is drinking, and you couldn't be happier that we're in the Eras era, who's better to take inspo from than Taylor Swift? 

The famed pop star was recently spotted at the restaurant Rye in Leawood, Kansas, while on a night out with fellow girlfriends and wives of Kansas City Chiefs players (her current beau Travis Kelce is also known to frequent the spot). Swift ordered a French Blonde cocktail, and according to Page Six, Rye's co-owner Megan Garrelts stated, "From our understanding, [that is] her favorite cocktail." 

Since this info dropped, cocktail aficionados have been buzzing about the French Blonde online. Though this drink contains some more obscure ingredients, it is delicious, often described like a cross between a Greyhound and a Corpse Reviver No. 2. We're here to explain how you can mix one up at home and party like Swift does.

What's in a French Blonde?

The French Blonde has only five ingredients: gin, grapefruit juice, St. Germain, Lillet Blanc, and lemon bitters. The ratios of each ingredient vary depending on whom you ask, but shaking the cocktail with ice is a must-do. St. Germain, a sweet liqueur made from elderflower blossoms, brings a strong floral character, which is why it's paired with herbaceous gin in many other drinks, as well, like the Elderflower Gin Fizz

You can find quite a few brands of elderflower liqueur on the market, in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. Still, St. Germain is pretty easy to find, and is called for in most French Blonde recipes. Meanwhile, Lillet Blanc, which is a quinine-flavored apéritif, adds bitterness and complexity to the drink.

After shaking these five ingredients with ice and pouring them into a glass, you have a bright, floral, citrusy, and slightly sweet cocktail that is a beautiful peachy-pink in color. Store-bought grapefruit juice may produce a sweeter drink than the freshly-squeezed stuff, but you can always counter the extra sugar by reducing the amount of St. Germain, as its floral flavor is potent even in small amounts. Garnish with a fresh grapefruit wedge for a cocktail elegant enough for a celebrity.

Using substitutes in a French Blonde

It's likely that in a few weeks, the French Blonde will be on tap at every cocktail bar in America. After all, T.S. mania doesn't seem to be slowing down. If you want to get ahead of the trend and make this drink at home, you now how the basic how-to, but you might have to do some careful shopping.

Firstly, if you can't find Lillet Blanc, substitute a quality blanc vermouth or some Cap Corse Blanc, another quinine wine. Lemon bitters are probably the hardest ingredient to acquire here. With orange bitters being far more popular, a lemon variety may not be stocked at your local liquor store. Luckily, it's possible to order many brands of lemon bitters online, but if that's too much work, you can use a substitute to achieve the same flavor profile. 

Using orange bitters is the simplest shortcut, though they taste more sweet and less bright. You can also make your own lemon bitters by soaking lemon peels and a variety of other flavorings in vodka. You could even turn your French Blonde into a spritz by leaving out the bitters and adding a bitter lemon-flavored soda or seltzer. (Many brands, from Schweppes to Fever Tree, sell products such as these.) It won't be the same, but you'll still be able to pretend you're T-Swift, cheering on your NFL boyfriend from the stands with a nice, refreshing drink in hand.