A group of people clinking glasses of Champagne

Drinks in French: 150 Words and Phrases for Beverages, Coffee, Wine, Cocktails and Ordering Drinks

One of the first things you’ll likely do in France, or even in a French restaurant or café in your hometown, is order a drink.

So a good place to start is the words for “drink” in French. A non-alcoholic drink is une boisson and an alcoholic beverage is un verre (literally: “a glass”).

If you sit down in a French restaurant or bar, the drinks interaction will probably start with the server asking you: Qu’est-ce que vous voulez boire ? (What do you want to drink?)

Your reply will vary, of course, based on what you want, but whatever you order, you want to say it correctly.

That’s why I wrote this post that includes the 150 most used drinks vocabulary in French, from coffee to cocktails, and of course, wine.

This guide to drink names and ordering drinks in French will never leave you high and dry (or thirsty), or sounding like a sauvage (savage).

Contents

Drinks in French

A cafe in Paris

If you’re thirsty, or avoir soif (to be thirsty), there are countless types of drinks you can order.

But before we do that, you’ll probably want to know how to say “to drink.” It’s boire . “To sip” is siroter , which works better with wine.

Whether you go to a café, a restaurant or a grocery store, you’ll also need to know the names of everyday drinks such as water, coffee and milk, so that’s where we’ll start:

EnglishFrench
Aperitif L'apéritif
Water L'eau
Coffee Le café
Tea Le thé
Juice Le jus
Milk Le lait
Hot chocolate Le chocolat chaud
Wine Le vin
Beer La bière
Champagne Le champagne
Cocktail Le cocktail
Soda Le soda
Smoothie Le smoothie
Carbonated drink La boisson gazeuse
Coca Cola Le coca
Lemon soda/Sprite La limonade

Ordering a Drink in French

A server carrying a platter of drinks

Here are some examples of basic phrases you’ll need to know no matter what type of drink you’re ordering:

EnglishFrench
I would like to see the drink menu Je voudrais voir la carte des boissons s'il vous plaît.
I would like some tea please Je voudrais prendre du thé s'il vous plaît.
I would like some water Je voudrais de l'eau.
I would like to order some wine please Je voudrais commander du vin s'il vous plaît.
I would like... Je voudrais...
Can I have... Puis-je avoir...
I'll take... Je prendrai...
Could you give me... Pourriez-vous me donner...
One... Un / une...
Please S'il vous plaît
What do you have for... Qu'est-ce que vous avez comme...
I prefer... Je préfère...
Do you serve... Est-ce que vous servez...
A bottle of... Une bouteille de...
A glass of... Un verre de...
With ice cubes Avec glaçons

As you can see, even when using other verbs such as prendre (to take) or commander (to order), I highly recommend you still use voudrais because it’s truly the most polite and accepted way to order in French.

Just as we use different terms when asking for drinks in English (a can of soda, a bottle of water, etc.), the French have many different ways of expressing drink types and quantities.

Knowing how to ask for a drink using the correct terms and quantity words will come in handy when ordering food in French, whether it’s on the go or at almost any sit-down restaurant in France.

Here are some examples:

EnglishFrench
A bottle Une bouteille
A glass Un verre
A cup Une tasse
A disposable cup Un gobelet
A shot Un shot
A bowl Un bol
A can Une canette
A pot/jar Un pot
A liter Un litre
Half a liter Un demi-litre
A quarter of a liter Un quart de litre
A pitcher Un pichet
A pint Une pinte
A wine glass Un verre à vin
A small can Une mini canette

Let’s face it — for many of us, coffee is the most important drink of the day!

Coffee in French

People holding their coffee drinks

Here are a few words and phrases for ordering this must-have in one of France’s many quaint cafés. That’s right: learn how to order coffee in French.

EnglishFrench
A coffee (usually referring to a small espresso) Un café
Black coffee Un café noir
Coffee with more water (similar to an Americano) Un café allongé
Coffee with cream (similar to a latte) Un café crème
Coffee with milk Un café au lait
Cappuccino Un cappuccino
Café latte Un café latte
Espresso Un expresso
Decaffeinated coffee Un décaféiné
Strong espresso (short and strong) Un café serré
Sweetened coffee Un café sucré
Iced coffee Un café glacé
Viennese coffee (coffee with whipped cream) Un café viennois
A coffee served with small desserts Un café gourmand
A filtered coffee/American coffee Un café filtre
Double espresso Un café double
I would like a coffee. Je voudrais un café
A coffee, please. Un café s'il vous plaît
I'll take an espresso. Je prendrai un expresso
An Americano, please. Un café allongé s'il vous plaît
A cappuccino, please. Un cappuccino s'il vous plaît

Alcoholic Drinks in French

A bartender pouring a cocktail

A night out can be a blast, especially if you have the right vocabulary!

EnglishFrench
Bar Le bar
Bartender Le barman
Wine Vin
Beer Bière
Champagne Champagne
Sake Saké
Rum Rhum
Whisky Whisky
Vodka Vodka
Tequila Tequila
Cognac Cognac
Liqueur Liqueur
Aperitif Apéritif
Digestif Digestif
Cocktail Cocktail
Mojito Mojito
Cosmopolitan Cosmopolitan
Margarita Margarita
Martini Martini
Daiquiri Daïquiri
Mimosa Mimosa
Punch Punch
Kir Royal Kir Royal
Cider Cidre
French 75 French 75
Pastis (anise-flavored liquor) Pastis

Buying and Ordering Wine in French

As you can imagine, wine is a big deal in France. Because of this, there’s a whole set of vocabulary associated with it.

As such, when walking into a wine shop in France or asking for help in selecting wine at a finer restaurant, you may hear the phrase, “Vous voulez mettre combien ?” (How much are you looking to spend?) or “Vous désirez une bouteille de vin dans les combiens ?” (What is your price range for a bottle of wine?).

In response to the first question, simply state the number you’re willing to spend (for example, “40 euros maximum”). To reply to the second type of question, use this form: “Dans les 40 euros environ” (Around 40 euros).

Here are some more wine words for all you wine enthusiasts out there!

EnglishFrench
Wine Vin
Red wine Vin rouge
White wine Vin blanc
Rosé wine Rosé
Dry wine Vin sec
Mulled wine Vin chaud
Sweet wine Vin doux
Vintage Cru
Vine La vigne
Wine cellar La cave
Grape variety Cépage
Vineyard Le vignoble
Terroir, sense of place Terroir
Aroma, bouquet Bouquet
Aromas Arômes
Dry Sec
Sweet Doux
Balanced Équilibré
Fruity Fruité
Tannic Tannique
Light Léger
Full-bodied Corsé
Citrus fruits Agrumes
Red fruits Fruits rouges
Dark fruits Fruits noirs
Oak Chêne
Vanilla Vanille
Spicy Épicé
Mineral Minéral
Well aerated Bien aéré
A glass of wine, please. Un verre de vin s'il vous plaît
I'm looking for a dry red wine. Je cherche un vin rouge sec
Do you have a full-bodied white wine? Avez-vous un vin blanc corsé ?
What is the specialty of the region? Quelle est la spécialité de la région ?

For even more words and phrases about French wine culture, check out this excellent video:

French Drinking Phrases

A group of people raising a toast

When you’re drinking (especially wine or other alcoholic drinks) with others in France, you’ll hear a lot of drinking-specific phrases. These are the French equivalents of English phrases like “Cheers!” and “Bottoms up!”

So learn how to say “Cheers!” in French.

EnglishFrench
Cheers! Santé !
To yours! À la vôtre !
To yours and mine! À la vôtre et à la mienne !
To yours! (informal) À la tienne !
To your health! (informal) À ta santé !
Let's toast! Trinquons !
To your good health! À la bonne vôtre !
Let's raise a toast! Portons un toast !
Health and happiness! Santé et bonheur !
To life! À la vie !
It's delicious! C'est délicieux !
Enjoy it! Profitez-en !
Let's clink glasses! On trinque !
To your success! À ta réussite !
To love! À nos amours !
To friendship! À l'amitié !
One more glass! Un verre de plus !
Cheers! (informal) Tchin-tchin !
To yours and ours! À la vôtre et à la nôtre !

 

No matter where or when you go to a Francophone country, you’ll be a bit more prepared with the phrases above!

Happy traveling and tchin-tchin!

And one more thing...

If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:

learn-french-with-videos

FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.

learn-french-with-movies

For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:

practice-french-with-subtitled-videos

Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."

practice-french-with-adaptive-quizzes

All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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