Kir Cocktail

Kir and Kir Royale

The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
139 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 139
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 104mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The kir is a classic berry-flavored cocktail that calls for just two ingredients—crème de cassis and dry white wine—making it a perfect wine cocktail to serve at a casual cocktail party. Depending on the wine, it can also be inexpensive to mix up.

The kir is one of the few cocktails that uses crème de cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur that acts as a dark fruit sweetener and dresses up any wine wonderfully; it is dark in color with a thick consistency, similar to Chambord. Traditionally, the kir calls for Aligoté, a dry white Burgundy, but the choice of white wine is something of personal taste (dry wines are preferred, and Chablis is a great option). This recipe is also a great use for wines that are not perfect on their own and could use a little help to make a decent drink.

There are also many variations of the kir, the most notable being the kir royale, which uses Champagne or another sparkling wine. There are other versions that use cider or different liqueurs as well. While each is unique, they all carry on the kir tradition.

"Kir and Kir Royale are two classic, classy cocktails. Cassis is a black currant liqueur, which adds a combination of dark and bright fruits notes that act as an ideal foil to the wine. I prefer the Kir Royale. Bubbles are fun, and they give the heavier notes in the cassis some levity." —Tom Macy

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1/4 ounce crème de cassis liqueur

  • 5 ounces dry white wine, chilled

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Kir and Kir Royale ingredients

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  2. In a wine glass, pour the crème de cassis.

    Crème de cassis in a wine glass

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  3. Slowly add the dry white wine.

    Add white wine to the crème de cassis liqueur in the glass

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  4. Serve and enjoy.

    Kir and Kir Royale

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu


  • You can adjust the amount of liqueur to match your personal taste; more liqueur will make a sweeter drink.
  • Pouring the liqueur into the glass first allows it to mix naturally with the wine. If you put the wine in first and then added the liqueur, you'll need to stir the drink to mix them together.
  • The cool temperature of the wine should keep this cocktail cold, but if it is too warm for your taste, you can pour it over a large ice cube; the low alcohol content of the drink will prevent the ice from watering down the cocktail.

How Did Kir Get Its Name?

The combination of dry white wine and crème de cassis became popular in French cafés in the middle of the 19th century. After World War II, it was further popularized by Felix Kir, the then-mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, France, who served the drink often to promote his region's fine products (wine and crème de cassis). The name kir has been associated with the drink ever since and has become generic enough that Webster's Dictionary lists it in lower case.

Recipe Variations

  • Kir Royale: Whenever you see "royale" in a cocktail name, it typically indicates that Champagne is an ingredient. Therefore, it's easy to remember that the kir royale substitutes Champagne for the white wine, serving the drink in a Champagne flute.
  • Cardinal Cocktail: This drink also features crème de cassis and simply substitutes red wine for the white.
  • Kir Imperial: Chambord or another raspberry liqueur replace the crème de cassis and Champagne is poured.
  • Kir Breton: Substitute Breton apple cider for the wine. Likewise, the kir Normand prefers cider from Normandy, France. Any apple cider will do just fine, though.
  • Kir Mocktail: You can also easily transform the kir into a nonalcoholic drink. Use grenadine instead of cassis, and cider, sparkling cider, or sparkling water in place of the wine.

How Strong Is a Kir Cocktail?

Crème de cassis is a low-proof liqueur that's typically bottled at 15 percent ABV. That's not much stronger than the average wine, so the kir is a light cocktail. On average, it mixes up to 12 percent ABV (24 proof). The variations fall into this range as well.

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