Kir Royale

By Robert Hess

When I travel through France, I always try to have at least one Kir Royale. It is a fairly common drink, named after Canon Felix Kir, a former mayor of Dijon, who popularized the use of the local white burgundy wine with a splash of cassis, which became known simply as "Kir". With champagne, it is known as a Kir Royale.

Recipe

How to Make a Kir Royale Cocktail

fill champagne flute with champagne

add a splash of Creme de Cassis

Instructions

  • garnish with a lemon twist
  • Comments
    Robert Hess 8 Oct 2007
    6:53 am

    I need to post a minor correction. In the video I say the “Kir” is made with white bordeaux… I did of course mean to say white “Burgundy”. I also should have pointed out that I wasn’t using “Champange” in this episode, but “Sparkling Wine”, since to be called “Champagne” it has to be made in the Champagne region of France.

    Dominik MJ - the opinionated alchemist 17 Oct 2007
    6:28 pm

    Nice episode! and the only comments which I had, you’ve already corrected!
    One tiny little thing: it doesn’t seem classic to me, to garnish a Kir Royale with a lemon twist. I prefer to skip the garnish in this case…

    For the Kir you could also use Chablis or Poilly Fume as both are sub divisions of Burgundy (and it is only allowed to produce chardonnay if white) - might be more expensive but easier to find…

    cc 19 Oct 2007
    8:58 pm

    robert your grace and humilty are never in question the measure of a master, for the opinionated one i cannot say the same the hallmarks of vanity lend no creed to your words the cocktail spirit is just that the spirit of sharing knowledge with those with and ernest desire to learn return to the wine vault and learn some manners. cc

    Dominik MJ - the opinionated alchemist 19 Oct 2007
    10:11 pm

    @ cc:
    I definitely estimate the value of Robert’s work! However I got to know him as very open “virtual host” who would discuss (in a friendly manner) about one or the other subject!

    I save my breath to comment about your outlandish try of defamation not least to preserve this section of premature off-topic discussions…

    Thanks and regards!

    Dominik MJ

    Conrad 1 Nov 2007
    11:07 pm

    Robert:

    My wife and I love Kir Royals.  One thing I do differently is tilt the flute and pour the cassis down the side.  It gives the drink a graduated color and a sweetish finish.

    Thanks for the great videos.

    Cheers!

    K. Morgan 7 Nov 2007
    6:46 pm

    I love Kir Royales, and try to incorporate them into my evening regime.

    My lady and I have come to call it a “Sunset”, per the manner of execution as follows:

    Store the champagne and the Creme de Cassis in the refrigerator. 

    Fill the flute with your sparkling wine or champagne, then add the dash of creme de cassis. 

    The ruby red of the cassis will lie at the bottom of the flute, creating a “sunset” appearance.

    Best to all.

    Zig Noda 16 Dec 2007
    12:06 am

    I was recently introduced to the Kir Royal by Chef Scott Nelson who is the head chef at Brasserie Du Vin in Honolulu, Hawaii (which is where occasionally I perform music)...Chef Scott at one time worked with Chef Emeril in New Orleans…Anyway every time I noticed Scott at the bar he always was drinking a Kir Royal…but with a slightly interesting twist…Champagne and Chambord in lieu of the Creme de Cassis. It’s very nice.

    PS: Very Nice videos here. Production quality is just as good as commercial tv if not better. Mahalo!

    The Frounch Gui 6 Aug 2008
    3:44 pm

    I’m surprised that you fill the flute of champagne *before* you put the cr

    K. Morgan 6 Aug 2008
    4:16 pm

    TFG,

    The sparkler is chilled, as well as the creme de cassis, under the same conditions (same area of a True fridge).

    The cassis is heavier, so, in the same temp conditions, naturally drops to the bottom.

    That being said, not all creme de cassis’ are equal in this respect.

    The “Massenez Creme de Cassis de Dijon”, for ~$22-25 US, always works.  Others can be a little less viscuous, and don’t settle as well.  Experimentation recommended…

    Cheers, and thanks for your thoughts.

    K. Morgan

    Robert Hess 7 Aug 2008
    5:14 am

    One of the main reasons I do the champagne first, is because any time I’ve had this drink in France (my habit is to have one as an aperitif right before the meal), that’s the way they would do it.

    As K indicates, the cassis is almost always going to fall to the bottom anyway. By pouring it on top of the champagne it will then at least have a chance to leave a lovely little trail of color as he heads to the bottom.

    -Robert

    The Frounch Gui 12 Aug 2008
    10:20 am

    The fact that cr

    Carrie 13 Dec 2008
    10:19 am

    I spent a summer in Paris and fell in love with the Kir Royale. I want to recreate this lovely drink as the singature drink of my holiday cocktail party.  I found the Creme de Cassis but I must be using the wrong Champagne. Does anyone have a brand that they recommend?  I picked up an extra varity and I think that may be my mistake. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!  Thanks, from one Kir Royale lover to another!

    K. Morgan 13 Dec 2008
    11:44 am

    Hi, Carrie,

    I prefer Extra Dry over Brut as a rule, but had an excellent KR last Sunday in Sonoma, made with a Roederer Estate NV Brut.

    There’s an Aussie Extra Dry sparkler, Lorikeet, which I’ve gone through by the case.  Makes a great Kir Royale, and the price is right, if you can find it.

    Korbel is also in the right price category, and always good.  For the KR, go for the Extra Dry, or, if you can find it, the Sec.  The Sec is their original sparkler, with a small dossage of brandy.  Delightful.

    The bottom line is, tastes are very personal, so you’ll need to keep experimenting.  Not a bad occupation…

    Best,

    Kimball Morgan

    parsifal 26 Aug 2012
    9:31 am

    Hi @ll

    I like my Kir Royal made in a bit different way, using Chambord Liqueur Royale
    instead of Creme de Cassise. IMO this touch of cognac and the complexity of Chambord gives the cocktail more deepness.

    Dominik MJ aka the opinionated alchemist 26 Aug 2012
    8:58 pm

    @parsifal

    This is not a Kir Royal. Classically you would name it Champagne Royal.
    As Kir is white wine [traditionally bourgogne aligoté] with crème de cassis, latter is indispensable for a correct Kir Royal [and royal is indicating on champagne - so I rather would not use another sparkling wine than real [French!] champagne.
    This said, Chambord as well as other good sparkling wines are good substitutes - just make a different drink!

    parsifal 27 Aug 2012
    3:13 am

    @Dominik

    LOLLLLL

    Chambord is not a sparkling wine!!! but a premium french liquer made from red and black raspberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey and cognac.

    1oz Chambord toped with 4oz Piper Heidsieck thats my recommendation in this case.

    Surely its not exact a Kir Royale, sometimes its called Champagne Royale or Chambord Royale

    Dominik MJ aka the opinionated alchemist 27 Aug 2012
    3:51 am

    @parsifal

    off course, I know that Chambord is a liqueur - sorry for the little bit confusing comment before. I mean you could substitute the champagne as well as the liqueur - however both variants makes it to something different.

    For me, 1 oz - which is metric 3 cl [I am a big supporter for metric measures] is in my eyes far too much. You don’t want to alter completely the champagne [the whole drink would also become too sweet], but just modify it [support the berry facets, which already can be found in champagne].

    Hence 1/3 oz = 1 cl is already quite a lot - I even rather would reduce it to 1/6 oz = 0.5 cl = 1 bar spoon. Then the liqueur is very discreet, but the champagne aperitif overall is grown up, complex and delicious.

    Zakhia 31 Dec 2013
    4:03 pm

    I live in Ghana and Its not easy getting drinks but Just got a bottle of creme de cassis (Hallelujah) and I love the stuff its excellent with rum, wish the were more cocktails for it, tried a “cassiman” which has a similar taste profile to a manhatten 3parts Bourbon, 1 dry vremouth, 1 creme de cassis. an excellent fruity manhatten.

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