Kir and Kir Royale

Kir Royale
Claire Cohen
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
76 Calories
0g Fat
5g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 76
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 6mg 0%
*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.)

If you like berry-flavored cocktails then this classic is a great choice. The kir is a perfect wine cocktail to serve at an open house, business reception, or casual cocktail party because it is very simple and, depending on the wine, can be inexpensive to mix up.

The kir is one of the few cocktails to use crème de cassis. The blackcurrant liqueur acts as a dark fruit sweetener that dresses up any wine wonderfully.

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, shall we say, 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 others that use cider or different liqueurs as well. While each is unique, they all carry on the kir tradition.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

  3. Slowly add the dry white wine.

  4. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • 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 would need to stir the drink to mix them together.
  • This sweet cocktail pairs well with salty snacks or appetizers. While French in inspiration, the kir also works well with many different cuisines. It's lower in alcohol than many cocktails, so it is good to enjoy before dinner without dulling your taste buds.

The History of the Kir Cocktail

The kir became popular in French cafes in the middle of the 19th century and was further popularized by Felix Kir after World War II. The then mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, France, 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

  • 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.
  • The cardinal cocktail also features crème de cassis and simply substitutes red wine for the white.
  • In the kir imperial, Chambord or another raspberry liqueur replace the crème de cassis and Champagne is poured.
  • To make a 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.
  • You can also easily transform the kir into a mocktail. Simply use pomegranate molasses or grenadine instead of cassis and cider, sparkling cider, or sparkling water for a sweet and tasty concoction to enjoy without alcohol.

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). Even the variations will fall into this range.

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