There is truly nothing quite as classic or simple as the Kir Royale cocktail! A French champagne cocktail infused with berry liqueur. It's stunning, it's delicious, and it's always in season.
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What is a Kir Royale?
The Kir Royale is a French sparkling wine cocktail flavored with a black currant liqueur known as Crème de Cassis. This classic cocktail is a variation of the Kir cocktail, which features dry white wine (instead of sparkling) and Crème de Cassis.
What is Creme de Cassis?
Crème de Cassis is a black currant-flavored liqueur. It hails from France, is deeply colored, and is sweet. You can find cheap bottles of Crème de Cassis for around $10/bottle but it’s best to buy a product that comes from France, which will usually run you about $30.
What’s the Best Liqueuer for a Kir Royale?
In my opinion, Crème de Cassis is good (and classic), but not the best liqueur option for this cocktail. Here are two other liqueur options to make the best Kir Royale:
Chambord: which you might already have on hand for the French Martini, is a classic French black raspberry liqueur dating back to 1685.
Crème de Mûre: is a flavor-packed blackberry liqueur most known for its use in the Bramble, a classic gin cocktail.
Looking for something wintery? Check out this Pomegranate Kir Royale which uses Pama, a pomegranate liqueur.
The Best Sparkling Wine to Use
The kir royale, with it’s French roots, traditionally uses Champagne. It’s certainly delicious with champagne, but if you’re looking for a more economical option I recommend using a brut cava.
Prosecco is another option, but with the liqueur being fairly sweet, a drier, more savory sparkling wine balances the drink well. Here are the differences between the three types of sparkling wine, then use whichever based on your preferences.
Champagne: the traditional sparkling wine used in a Kir Royale. This French sparkling wine is often the most expensive and offers light fruit and almond flavors to the drink.
Cava: is a Spanish sparkling wine and tends to be more citrusy, minerally and savory than either champagne or prosecco.
Prosecco: hails from Italy and is sweeter than Champagne or cava. It’s fruity and floral.
How to Make a Kir Royale
There are two steps to this kir royale recipe.
- Add the liqueur to a champagne flute.
- Pop the sparkling wine and pour into the champagne flute with liqueur.
- The optional third step—garnish with a lemon twist and blackberries or raspberries.
Other Sparkling Cocktail Recipes to Love…Print
The classic Kir Royale cocktail! This berry-flavored sparkling wine cocktail is easy to make (just 2 ingredients!) and is always festive. (I'm partial to a kir royale with chambord.)
- 1 ounce Chambord, Crème de Cassis or Crème de Mûre
- 4 ounces cava brut sparkling wine
- Blackberries and lemon twist for garnish
Pour Chambord into a champagne flute then fill with sparkling wine. Garnish with a blackberry and lemon twist.
1 (750mL) bottle of sparkling wine makes 6 drinks.
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