Refreshment French-style

Pastis Pastiche

The Aspen restaurant that offers the most unobstructed glimpse into its owner’s soul is Crêperie du Village.

By Michael Miracle February 1, 2014 Published in the Midwinter/Spring 2014 issue of Aspen Sojourner

0214 pastis pastiche main rmzecy

Image: Anne Reeser

Everything about it—the menu of crêpes, fondues, and raclettes, the found objects as décor, the hand-painted signs—reflects the spirit and upbringing of the Crêperie’s co-owner, the gypsyish, French-born Raphael Derly.

The latest aspect of his persona to make the menu? The most traditional drink of his hometown. “I was born in Marseille, where pastis is from,” Derly says. “Most people drink it before lunch or dinner; it opens the appetite.” But Derly knows from experience that the aniseed-based aperitif’s licorice flavor is not for everyone. So he recently debuted a pastis cocktail list that introduces other flavors and colors, adding mint, almond, lavender, and grenadine syrups to the usual mix of Ricard, ice, and water. The result is a very refreshing drink, with pastis’s licorice taste dialed back but still present. But for Derly, it’s more about helping his patrons channel the south of France: “People get louder and more full of life after a couple of pastises. You see things different, you’re happier. It has a magic power.”

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