July is a month of revolutionary celebration, not only for Americans but also the French, who recognize Bastille Day on July 14. La Fête Nationale, or “The National Celebration,” as it’s called in France, marks the the day in 1789 when, fed up with the tyrannous Bourbon monarchy, an angry mob of Parisians stormed the Bastille fortress. Though it housed only a handful of prisoners, the Bastille was seen as a symbol of monarchic rule, and the bloody assault kicked off the French Revolution.
The occasion is celebrated throughout France and in Francophile communities around the world. In Paris there is a parade on the Champs-Elysées, a flyover by the French air force, fireworks, music and general Champagne-fueled revelry. Since American revolutionary ideas partially inspired the French uprising, it seems only right we all celebrate the holiday together. Here are a few festive, French (or pseudo-Francophile) cocktails to toast La Révolution at your Bastille Day party.