UPDATE: This Kir Royale recipe is in memory of Jean-Marie Boegle, a doctor in France who died due to COVID-19 on 22 March 2020. He introduced me to Kir Royales when we stayed at a guesthouse owned by him and his wife in Burgundy in 2019. One of the most amazing holiday weeks I’ve ever had in my life, filled with so much laughter, we remained in touch even after we left.
Jean-Marie was a Healthcare Hero who made the ultimate sacrifice, putting himself at risk to care for others. We will never forget him.
You’ll find this champagne cocktail as a pre dinner drink on the menu of bistros and restaurants all across France. It’s a terrific celebratory way to kick off a meal – fizzy, sparkling, sweet, and who can resist the colour!
From a practical perspective, it’s a great way to dress up economical champagne. The creme de cassis is sweet and has a concentrated blackcurrant flavour which will disguise even the cheapest of champagnes!
What goes in Kir Royale
Creme de cassis is a sweet, dark red liquor made from blackcurrants. It’s $27 for a 700ml/24 oz bottle at Dan Murphy’s (large Australian liquor store); and
Best champagne for Kir Royale – any champagne*, sparkling wine (brut) or Cava is ideal here. Just don’t get one that’s labelled (or described on the label) as SWEET, because the creme de cassis is sweet and together it will probably be too sweet.
* Technically, sparkling wines can only be called “champagne” if they are made in the Champagne region of France. They tend to be pricier. But the term “champagne” is used quite loosely in reference to both “real” Champagne as well as sparkling wine.
How to make Kir Royales
Creme de cassis first, then top it up with champers! Some might due it the other way round, but this is the order that Jean-Marie taught me to make it – and I will never diverge from it!
What to serve with Kir Royales
Suggested finger foods to serve with Kir Royales
If you’re having these as a pre dinner cocktail, you’d be right on theme serving them alongside Gougeres which are French cheese puffs. In fact, that’s exactly what we were served by our host when we stayed in a B&B in Burgundy called La Saura a couple of months ago! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Kir Royale (French champagne cocktail)
- 2 tsp Creme de cassis (blackcurrent liquor, Note 1)
- 185ml/ 3/4 cup champagne or sparkling wine (Note 2)
- Pour creme de cassis in a champagne glass, then top with Champagne and serve!
- In reality, you don't need to measure - just eyeball it by colour, take a sip and adjust to taste! Some people like it sweeter, with a deeper red. Some people like just a tiny hint of blackcurrent.
Life of Dozer
Flashback: that time I washed all his toys and he sat there, staring forlornly at them!