Pastis in Porquerolles

The French are quite fond of their “jeux de mots” (play on words). On a recent swing through the charming coastal island of Porquerolles, we found what is probably my favorite French phrase to date.

In the picture above, the original blue sign says, “Roulez au Pas” which means “Drive Slowly.” Someone has cleverly added the letters T-I-S to the end of “pas” to transform it to “Roulez au Pastis.” So basically this sign is saying, “Drive on Pastis.” Not exactly the best advice considering that Pastis is an alcoholic beverage, but quite alright considering that virtually everyone takes the Ferry over to the island of Porquerolles and spends most of the day walking around in its beautiful Caribbean-esque national park.

For those that have spent any time in the south of France, you know that Pastis is the beloved drink of all true southern Frenchmen and women. With it’s hint of licorice and served with ice water, Pastis is a drink you will commonly see on the café terraces and pétanque courts of southern France. Brand loyalty runs very high though (popular brands are Ricard and 51) so make sure you ask a Frenchman which one he prefers before serving him.