The Kir Royale Cocktail is chic and refreshing. My favorite cocktail, made with champagne and crème de cassis, as seen on the latest season of Emily in Paris.
Most French Café menus feature this delicious cocktail, it is a favorite for an afterwork apéro (cocktail hour) with friends. I personally love to welcome guests to a dinner party with this cocktail - it always puts people in a festive mood!
The French enjoy a Kir Royale as an elevated version of the café classic, Le Kir, that is made with dry white wine. It gives a sense of occasion.
I have spoken about my love of Kir Royale several times over the years, such as in this post about the art of L'Apéro, but I realized I have never shared the Kir Royale recipe, perfect for a special occasion.
- Champagne (or Prosecco or Cava or any dry sparkling wine of your choice!)
- Crème de Cassis
See recipe card below for Kir Royale recipe quantities.
This cocktail is SUPER simple to make. Only two ingredients. No shaking or muddling required and can easily be done for guests at a dinner party. You will not find yourself stuck behind the bar, however I do caution that people will want seconds!
Pour the Crème de Cassis into the bottom of your glass of choice. The traditional choice is a champagne flute, but if you have a Marie Antoinette Coupe that would be very elegant.
Top with champagne, stir, and serve immediately!
- Make sure you are using dry champagne (classified as Brut) or sparking wine for this recipe. The Crème de cassis is already quite sweet - if you use a sweet sparkling wine (demi-sec or doux) the drink will be much too sweet.
- Pour the creme de cassis in first, then the Champagne for a nice foam on the glass.
- Stir swiftly and serve immediately
- You can propose several different flavors of Kir Royale - either the classic creme de cassis or else with raspberry liqueur, blackcurrant liqueur or peach liqueur.
Emily in Paris Kir Royale Cocktail
I was inspired to share this recipe while enjoying season 3 of Emily in Paris on Netflix that mentions the Kir Royale several times. While I have not tried Emily's idea of a Kir in can (Chamère, as she calls it), this cocktail is incredibly simple to make and does bring an elegant sense of occasion to an Apéro.
If you are an Emily in Paris fan you will also enjoy my recipe for Magical Leek Soup from season 2.
History of the Kir
Félix Kir, a French Catholic Priest from Dijon, is credited for popularizing the "Kir" as it is now known internationally. Father Kir used to serve this cocktail, known at the turn of the century as a "blanc-cassis", to visiting delegations. Félix Kir was knighted by the Legion d'Honneur and was Mayor of Dijon until his death in 1968.
Crème de Cassis (Blackcurrant Liqueur) is relatively easy to find in the USA and is a great staple to keep in your bar. Have you ever tried Crème de Cassis drizzled over vanilla ice cream? Amazing!
You can find Crème de Cassis at most wine and spirit stores. Chambord (made with blackberries )can also be used.
The Classic Kir Royale is made with Crème de Cassis (a black currant Liqueur) and Champagne. That being said, you can make a non alcoholic version as well
Champagne- substitute sparkling water
Crème de Cassis - substitute with black currant syrup like this one from Teisseire on Frenchwink.com
The touch of blackcurrant liqueur adds a delicious sweetness to dry champagne. The cocktail has the juiciness of red berries and the effervescence champagne. People that don't necessarily love dry Champagne will love this cocktail as it is lighter and easier to drink.
Crème de cassis is an intensely sweet liqueur made with blackcurrants that is made by many different brands. Chambord, is a brand of specialty liqueur made from blackberries, raspberries and blackcurrants that also blends other ingredients like vanilla and congnac. It is a little less sweet than the crème de cassis.
A "Kir" is a cocktail made of white wine and crème de cassis named after a French Priest at the turn of the 20th century, Félix Kir. The "Royale" comes from elevating the cocktail with Champagne instead of white wine.
Using blackcurrant is the classic Kir Royale recipe in France but you can also use a variation of flavors with champagne for a delightful cocktail.
- Peach - The Piscine Pêche is a classic of Saint-Tropez and one of my favorite cocktails to enjoy in the summer
- Cranberry - substitute cranberry juice for black current for a festive winter twist on the Kir Royale
- Strawberry - creates a sweeter cocktail with a beautiful light pink hue that is perfect for Valentine's Day
What to serve with a Kir Royale
About Le Chef's Wife
Bonjour! I am Anina Belle. I translate the fancy cooking of my Michelin-star trained French Chef Husband, Le Chef, into easy to make dishes that busy people with no culinary training (like me!) can make at home. We have two young kids (5 and 2) and I have a full time job in hospitality in addition to this blog. I strongly believe that even busy people deserve to eat well at home.
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The Kir Royale Cocktail is chic and refreshing. My favorite cocktail, made with crème de cassis and champagne, as seen on Emily in Paris.
- 5 oz Champagne or Sparkling Wine (dry - not sweet)
- 1 tbsp Crème de Cassis Liqueur
- Pour the Crème de Cassis Liqueur into the bottom of a champagne flute
- Top with chilled Champagne or Sparkling Wine
- Stir and serve immediately
It truly is as simple as that!
Le Chef's Wife Tip: Make sure you are using dry champagne (classified as Brut) or sparking wine for this recipe. The Crème de cassis is already quite sweet - if you use a sweet sparkling wine (demi-sec or doux) the drink will be much too sweet.
Keywords: kir royale, kir royal, french cocktails, apperitif, champagne