Library-Bar at Saint James
The Saint James Paris boutique hotel doubles as a private club but luckily its Library-Bar is open to the public Monday to Saturday from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. The former Thiers Foundation study still contains 12,000 volumes and an intellectual ambience, but visitors come for the herb-based cocktails by barman Judicaël Noel. Le Barrel Guinguette, made with Paris No. 1 gin, home-made cordial, lime bergamot, and Fernet Branca, is well-balanced and refreshing. (Other concoctions have been know to contain unexpected combinations like foie gras and raspberries.) The Library-Bar’s selection of reserve whiskies, Calvados, and Cognacs is also extensive.