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TIP OF THE DAY: Improving Bad Bubbly With A Kir

Kir Royale, sparkling wine with blackcurrant liqueur. Delicious! Photo courtesy Chandon USA.


If you open a bottle of sparkling wine and find it’s not to your liking, there’s no need to drink bitter or too-dry bubbly.

Add a bit of crème de cassis—blackcurrant liqueur—to create the luscious drink known as Kir Royale.

Pour an inch of the liqueur into a flute or other wine glass, then add the sparkling wine. White wine with crème de cassis makes a regular Kir, so use this recipe to turn any still or sparkling white wine into a festive party drink.

The drink was named after Félix Kir (1876-1968), a mayor of the city of Dijon in Burgundy (the same city of mustard fame). As an apéritif, he added a splash of cassis to Aligote, a local white wine. The “Kir,” as it was known, became very popular and led to the Kir Royale, substituting Champagne for still wine.

A further evolution led to:

  • Kir Imperiale, using crème de framboise (raspberry liqueur) instead of creme de cassis, plus Champagne (or other sparkling wine).
  • Kir Royale à la pêche, made with crème de pêche (peach liqueur).
  • Kir Royale à la mûre, with crème de mure (blackcurrant liqueur).
  • Kir Normand, made in Normandy, with regular or sparkling cider as the wine and the local Calvados (apple brandy) instead of liqueur.
  • Kir Bourgogne, made with red wine.

    Want something really special? Try:

  • Kir Royale à la violette, made with crème de violette (violette liqueur).
  • Kir Royale à la lavande, made with crème de lavande (lavender liqueur).

    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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