Here is an easy Crème de Cassis cocktail, somewhat inspired by Casablanca:
Crème de Cassis Cocktails
- a shot of Crème de Cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
- topped off with Chardonnay wine.
- The drink is named after Canon Felix Kir, a Roman Catholic priest, with – like the fictional character played by Paul Henreid in “Casablanca” – distinguished service of the French Resistance.
- Canon Kir did not invent the drink. But he did popularize it, as Mayor of Dijon, France. Burgundy was awash with inexpensive Chardonnay, such as Bourgogne Aligote, of no particular distinction. What it needed was the bracing addition of a liqueur, and the sweet and flavorful Crème de Cassis was perfect.
- KIR ROYALE:
- If instead of white Burgundy you substituted champagne, you would have a Kir Royale.
- Some would say that it must be champagne. I would differ from that opinion. Sparkling wine not grown and made in Champagne is a Crèmant or Petillant and an excellent buy. What do you care if purists would say that you have created a Kir Petillant – Sparkling Kir – rather than a Kir Royale?
- Just add fine Sparkling Wine to Crème de Cassis and offer a toast to Canon Felix Kir as you do so.
Other Versions to Consider
- The Kir Berrichon for example is served at Chateauroux in the Berry region of central France where I taught English for a year, and where Pierre Bernasse, co-owner of French Wine Explorers, is from.
- It is made with red wine and crème de mure (blackberry liqueur).
Next time you are at a bar, order some creme de cassis cocktails for friends. They may well be looking for a light, flavorful cocktail with a pedigree, and memories of the Resistance. Paul Henreid would approve!