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
- Amaretto and orange juice over crushed ice
However, since moving to France, another drink has entered this pantheon – kir.
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.