The Overlooked Cocktails Crafted By Julia Child's Husband Paul

When the name "Child" comes up in culinary conversations, most minds instantly jump to Julia Child, the iconic chef who introduced French cooking to American households. However, while Julia was busy dazzling the culinary world with her cooking, her husband, Paul Child, was making waves of his own in the realm of cocktails. That's right: When Paul was not busy working for the American government, he was whipping up cocktails at home as a mixologist in the background, creating innovative drinks that have, for the most part, remained under the radar.

Today, three cocktails are credited to Paul: Carioca Quencher, Tourmaline, and Butterfly's Breath. These delicious drinks are resurfacing at some bars. Regardless, you shouldn't waste any time recreating them for yourself. You just might find a new go-to that you'll love. So, let's explore what these drinks taste like and their core ingredients.

Carioca Quencher

The Carioca Quencher is a tropical sensation that transports you straight to sun-soaked beaches. This cocktail is a tantalizing blend of citrus and pineapple, and its delicate undertone of rum makes this drink refreshing, zesty, and vibrant. If you're a fan of the classic Piña Colada or the citrusy Caipirinha, the Carioca Quencher might just be your new favorite. You may even think of it as a rum-forward spin on a Tom Collins.

This relatively simple cocktail requires ingredients you likely already have at home in your fridge or stocked in your bar. The Carioca Quencher is ultimately made with dark rum, lemon juice, lime juice, apricot liqueur, club soda, bitters, and a touch of sugar to taste and balance the tart citrus juices. Simply combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake well. Strain the drink into a chilled glass with fresh ice and garnish with a slice of pineapple or a twist of lime. Serve immediately to preserve the temperature of the ice-cold drink.


Thanks to its bright pink and red hue, Paul Child's Tourmaline cocktail is an exquisite and mysterious concoction. It offers a delicate dance of flavors, mingling floral notes with a satisfying hint of earthy bitterness. The use of beet juice and lime gives this cocktail a sophisticated edge. If you've ever enjoyed a classic martini or a negroni, the Tourmaline is a close relative with its own unique flair. What sets it apart, however, is the simple list of ingredients it calls for.

To make the Tourmaline cocktail, add dry gin, lime juice, and beet juice to a glass with ice. You can experiment with the ratios of ingredients until you find the perfect profile that suits your palate. Stir the cocktail well until it is thoroughly combined. Finally, strain the cocktail into a chilled glass and serve with a lime twist. You'll love the contrast of flavors and the bright, vibrant color of this surprisingly simple drink.

Butterfly's Breath

The Butterfly's Breath is a light, ethereal drink with subtle fruity notes, courtesy of the apricot brandy, and a smooth, creamy finish. Think of a lighter, airier version of a Brandy Alexander or a Creamsicle cocktail. Expect Butterfly's Breath to be a sweet, floral drink with less edge than some of Paul Child's other creations. This is perfect for easy sipping.

To make Butterfly's Breath, pour apricot brandy, gin, sugar, lime juice, and water into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the mixture is cold and frothy inside. Use a strainer to pour the drink into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish it off with a twist of lemon or lime peel depending on your preference. 

While Julia may have been the face of French cooking in America, Paul's cocktail contributions written on 3x5 index cards deserve their moment in the spotlight. The simple but delicate balance of flavors in his cocktails mirrors the delicate artistry that Julia displayed in her dishes. Together, they truly were the ultimate culinary power couple.

The next time you're in the mood for a sophisticated drink, why not give one of Paul Child's creations a try? You might just find your new favorite cocktail.