Sunny and Kir

There are some great summer time drinks, with my favourites amongst them being – in no particular order:

  • Ice-cold lager-type beer (biere blonde)
  • Chilled rose
  • Pimms and lemonade
  • Mojito
  • Amaretto and orange juice over crushed ice
  • Pastis

However, since moving to France, another drink has entered this pantheon – kir.

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Now, I’ve been aware of kir for quite a few years now, but I’ve only recently started to really get into it as a summer aperitif.

But – as I’ve recently discovered – there’s more to kir than white wine and a dash of cassis.

Yes, I’ve known about Kir Petillant (cassis and sparkling white) and Kir Royal (cassis and champagne) for a while, but what about Kir Breton?

That’s cassis and cider!

Here are a few more variations – courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • Communard/Cardinal – made with red wine instead of white
  • Kir Imperial – made with raspberry liqueur instead of cassis, and Champagne
  • Cidre Royal – made with cider instead of wine, with a measure of calvados added.
  • Hibiscus Royal – made with sparkling wine, peach liqueur, raspberry liqueur, and an edible hibiscus flower. Also found with sparkling wine and pear schnapps.
  • Kir Peche – made with peach liqueur.
  • Pamplemousse – made with red grapefruit liqueur and sparkling white wine, which gives a slightly tart alternative.
  • Tarantino – made with lager or light ale (“kir-beer”).
  • the Pink Russian – made with milk instead of wine.

It’s also a remarkably economical drink.

With cheap sparkling wine available at just over a euro a bottle and cassis about €5 a bottle, a Kir Petillant costs around 30 centimes to make a large glass, which makes it as cheap as buying a bottle of biere blonde – and that’s cheap enough.

OK, the cheap sparkling is pretty manky on its own, but a splash of fruit liqueur makes it perfectly drinkable and also ups the alcohol content from a measly 10.5%, in the case of Comte de Talmon vin mousseux.

You don’t even need much cassis – a mix of 6 parts wine to 1 part cassis is perfectly OK and it can even be a higher ratio without detriment to the taste.

Just make sure the wine is very well-chilled.

Then you will be too.

Cheers!

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3 Responses

  1. I’ve been drinking that for years without knowing what it was called until today thanks :)
    It’s perfect for turning an almost undrinkable brut wine into something approaching the nectar of the gods.

  2. @QM
    Glad to be of service!
    Yup – it’s amazing how a splash of cassis helps a cheap white.
    There’s a white wine produced fairly close to us – I believe it’s the most northerly vineyard in France – Gros Plant – which is acidic to say the least. Kir’s even great made with that.

  3. I missed this while I was away.

    When I worked years ago at the bar in a friend’s restaurant we used to serve The Mission Special, Champagne, Cassis and Remy Martin VSOP.

    Fruit liqueurs are great; apart from all the cocktails, try a Guinness with Creme de Mur, Fraise or Framboise – you’ll have to determine by trial and error which and in what quantity best suits you, but you’ll have fun ……..

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