How Bordeaux Locals Prefer Their After-Work Drinks

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Drinks | © Martin Cathrae/Flickr
<a href = ""> Drinks | © Martin Cathrae/Flickr
Photo of Jennifer Migan
30 July 2017

As the sunny days reappear in Bordeaux, there will be more and more people sitting in bars’ terraces or hanging out on their balconies after work. This type of gathering is called apéro and unlike a regular after-work gathering, it’s more than just about getting together; here is how to master the art of apéro and find out how locals prefer their after-works drinks.

You Need to Slow Down

The apéro is a celebration of “slow life”; it’s a moment to gather with friends and just enjoy being together while drinking and sharing food. Besides, unlike most big cities, Bordeaux locals are very attached to maintaining an easy-going lifestyle. This is partly why more and more visitors are drawn to the city’s high quality of life. There is no time limit during an apéro. While it can start at 7 pm, there’s no telling when it will end. The bar Les Cadets is a unique spot to meet up with friends because patrons can play pétanque (similar to the game Bocce Ball) while enjoying some of the region’s great products.

A typical pétanque game scene | © Marion Windhager/Flickr

Start Early

There is nothing wrong with setting up the time of an apéro early; it is actually a perfect way to make a smooth transition from work to the evening. Of course, not everyone will show up on time, but it doesn’t matter because the whole evening still awaits.

Small Crowds Work Better

This get-together is an opportunity to spend quality time with people in a cozy environment. The atmosphere is laid-back and easy, so avoid big gatherings in which everyone tries to catch each other’s attention. Five or six people are a good amount, but those who are super popular and have too many friends may do well with dividing them into different groups and schedule multiple apéros on separate days.

Drinks | © Martin Cathrae/Flickr


There is nothing worse than planning every details of an apéro too far in advance. One of the best things about this type of gathering is the spontaneous aspect of it. Decide of a meeting time and place and maybe ask guests to bring whatever they want to add if hosting the apéro, but let the rest take care by itself.

Don’t Mix Up the Drinks

It is better to stick with one (maybe two) specific drink throughout the night. A glass of wine is always a good idea, but cocktails will work too. Remember that it is about relaxing and having some quality time with friends.

drinks | © Nonsequiturlass/Flickr

Indulge in the Quality Food

Don’t forget to have some tasty-finger food to go along with drinks. Sharing a cheese and charcuterie platter is a must. It’s probably not the best option for sticking to a diet, but there’s nothing wrong with a treat every once in a while.

wine, cheese, and meat | © Taco Ekkel/Flickr



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