April 12, 2013

Kir is a classic cocktail with a history in Burgundy, France. After Pastis it is France’s second most popular aperitif.

It is named after a former mayor of Dijon, Canon Felix Kir, born in 1878.   At the end of World War II he welcomed all visitors to the hotel de ville (town hall as opposed to the town hotel) with a “blanc-cassis”.

The blanc should be an Aligoté (a wine made with that grape variety from Burgundy which is very much improved by the addition of  Cassis…….) and should be mixed with Crème de Cassis. Mix about one measure of Cassis to 4 measures of wine.

Crème de Cassis is a Blackcurrant Liquer with an alcohol content of 15-20%.

Kir Royale, as I am sure most of you know uses the same recipe but substitutes a sparkling wine for the Aligoté.  I don’t think it needs a Champagne, a lesser sparkling would definitely do.

Many restaurants in France welcome you to the table with a Kir which I think is a wonderful gesture. It isn’t something I think of drinking here in Malaysia but I might just try and track down a bottle of Creme de Cassis. I tend to use a 1 to 10 ratio personally which of course is a very much diluted version and would probably have Canon Felix turning in his grave. Oh well!




  • Crystal says:

    I’ve never had a Kir, but it sounds delish. I’m gonna have to add that to the ‘to try’ list.

  • Cynthia Reed says:

    Oh, this is something I knew very little about. I have had Kir Royale, but only in the sense that it’s been handed to me and I’ve drunk it down (with great enjoyment) and not with any notion of its history of use in social settings. Or, indeed, other related beverages. Thank you again!

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