3 Cocktails to Make with Pavan: Taking Old School Drinks to the Next Level

By Carey Jones and John D. McCarthy |

Courtesy of Carey Jones

With an iridescent, eye-catching bottle and an unmistakable floral aroma, Pavan is hard to forget once you’ve tried it. The French liqueur is made from Petite Muscat grapes, fortified, aged in oak and blended with orange blossoms, resulting in a smooth balance of fruity and floral, vibrant and sweet. 

Orange blossom water is used in several classic cocktails, including the Ramos Gin Fizz, but Pavan is the first time we’re seeing those flavors incorporated into a spirit—opening up all kinds of cocktail possibilities. Like many liqueurs, it’s important to use Pavan smartly; too much can overwhelm a cocktail with its sweet, floral character. But when used judiciously, it lends sophistication and an intriguing floral aroma, which we’ve worked into a number of throwback cocktails. Here are three unexpected ways to use Pavan.

Easy: Pavan on the Beach

The original Sex on the Beach is a drink best left back in the ’90s. But the cocktail gets a major upgrade by swapping out peach schnapps for Pavan—and using real, unsweetened cranberry juice for a tart little kick. Make a pitcher for your next brunch party. 

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of Pavan, 2 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice, and 2 ounces of 100 percent cranberry juice. (If you’re using the unsweetened stuff, add a ¼ ounce of simple syrup, too.) Shake it all up, strain it into a glass with fresh ice, and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry. 

Intermediate: Pavan and … Coke?

Pavan and a bit of soda or tonic is lovely, but we found that the liqueur works well in other highballs, too: like a whiskey and Coke. Sound counterintuitive? The sweet orange notes of the Pavan play nicely with bourbon’s hint of vanilla and the distinctive warmth of Coca-Cola. Trust us on this one. 

Instructions: Pour 1½ ounces of bourbon, ¾ ounce of Pavan, ¾ ounce of fresh lemon juice and ¼ ounce of simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice. Add a dash of Angostura bitters. Shake that all up and strain it into a tall glass with fresh ice. Add 2 ounces of Coca-Cola and garnish with a lemon wheel. 

Advanced: Pavan and Sand

The Blood and Sand is another classic, made with Scotch, orange juice, vermouth and Cherry Heering. Here, in place of the sweet cherry liqueur, we swap in Pavan, whose orange blossom blends beautifully with the fresh OJ. 

Instructions: Into a cocktail shaker with ice, pour ¾ ounce of each of the following: Pavan, blended Scotch (we like Cutty Sark Prohibition here), sweet vermouth and orange juice. Shake it and strain it into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry. 

Related: The Pimm's Cup and Beyond: 3 Cocktails to Make with Pimm's No. 1 
3 Sparkling Cocktails to Sip this Summer 
Celebrate Negroni Week with These 3 Perfect Versions