This year, add a bit of European style to your holiday gatherings. The Kir and Kir Royale are two of my favorite apéritifs, and many of our guests rave about them during our hiking tours in Europe.
“Cassis” means “blackcurrant” in French, and the subsequent liquor made from the blackcurrant berry is known as “crème de cassis.” Generally accepted as a French cocktail, a Kir is made with crème de cassis and white wine. A Kir Royale is made with crème de cassis and Champagne.
Pronounced: Kir : keer
Kir Royale : keer / roy ahl
Crème de Cassis
White Wine (Preferably dry, and of the Burgundy region if possible)
For a Kir, drop a dollop of crème de cassis to the bottom of a wine glass or champagne flute, then fill the rest with dry, white Burgundy wine. For a Kir Royale, use only a champagne flute. Add a dollop of crème de cassis to the bottom of the glass, then fill the flute with Champagne. The official recipe calls for one-third Cassis and two-thirds wine or champagne. However, the ratio of Cassis to wine depends entirely on personal preference. Many people prefer a smaller amount of Cassis. Experiment and have fun!
Add the Cassis first to ensure a more evenly mixed drink. Adding the wine first will result in a pleasing appearance, (a fine pink at the bottom of the glass shading up to a bright red at the top), but a very uneven flavor.
A votre santé!