The red hot, super-cool lipstick cocktail at the Kong restaurant, Paris

Well, it’s Valentine’s day today, a day which is all about romance and kisses.

So, our cocktail for this month is the Lipstick.

How did I first come to sample this outrageously red cocktail?

I owe a debt of gratitude to Hippolyte Petit. When my daughter told her Parisian colleague that she was off to Paris for the weekend with Saucy Dressings, and asked for his expert, insider advice on places to eat, he recommended Kong.


Kong in Paris
Kong is at the top of a lovely old Parisian building just by the Pont du Neuf. The views are spectacular.


“Look at that lovely building”, I commented as we raced (as usual, late) towards dinner, “it’s one of those typical Parisian blocks, they always look so classic and elegant”.

“Yes, that’s where the restaurant is” replied my daughter. “It’s supposed to be super-cool”. And indeed, so it transpired. Once through the eighteenth century doorway, Kong’s customers are transported through a surreal hall, and then heavenwards in the glass and steel lift.

Disgorged onto the penthouse the juxtaposition of old and new remains: Louis XV armchairs are positioned under mesmerising plasma screens projecting bizarre disembodied faces. Although the food is excellent, this restaurant is all about the cocktails – there are many more tables for drinking than for eating.

My daughter chose a Geisha –  vodka, rose syrup, strawberry puree, and champagne. For a moment I was tempted by the Blackjack – Bourbon whisky infused with coffee, maple syrup and bitter Bourbon old barrel.  And then for another moment by the Bao Kong, a mix of Hendricks, St Germain, cucumber, mint, lime – but I make a mean elderflower Martini myself, and I think it would be hard to improve on that (go here to find how to make that).


Kong in Paris
My companion chose a Geisha…


So in the end, if only for the name, it had to be the Lipstick.

It certainly packed a punch with its looks. I was a little concerned about what it might taste like, but for those who like Campari, as I do, it turned out to be interesting…not at all bad.


How I might compose a Lipstick cocktail

  • 3 parts gin
  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part strawberry purée
  • 5 parts tonic water



This post is dedicated, with thanks, to Hippolyte Petit.




Music to listen to

Here’s a bit of music to get you in the mood….. Connie Francis’ Lipstick on your Collar, below and Caro Emerald’s totally different Lipstick on your Collar, as well as Vanessa Mae playing Red Hot:


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