As much as I respect Alan and Shawn at The Prancing Pony Podcast, I have to warn people when we can’t trust them. Life in France is one of those times. In their first episode on The Hobbit they repeated the slanderous canard that you can’t get a glass of ice water in a French café.
Your Idiosopher is not one to duck the obligation to give back to the community of scholars, so here’s how you do it.
The cheapest thing on the menu in most any bar is an apéritif called “pastis”. Maybe it goes under a brand name like Ricard or Pernod or 51. It’s anise flavored, tastes like licorice. Most people don’t like it, but that’s not important right now. What’s important is that you drink it with ice cubes and water. At expensive bars, it comes with a carafe of ice. Even in the cheapest dives, the waiter will bring you a glass full of ice cubes with a tablespoon of liqueur in it, and a pitcher of water. Pour the pastis into the gutter, pour the water over the ice, and you’re back in America for five minutes.
I suppose you could try telling them to “hold the pastis”. I never tried that, because I actually like the stuff. It’s a working-class drink, totally unfashionable. My father-in-law laughed for years at the sight of me drinking like a retired plumber, because he didn’t understand the true objective of the exercise.