Champagne is given the royale treatment in the Kir Royale. A simple way to bring extra color and flavor to your special toasts.
This post is by Peggy Abood!
Admit it, you’re a sucker for the name too, aren’t you? Anything with the word “royale” in it has got to be worth the effort (and price!). The first time I saw this drink on a menu it was the mid ‘90s, my parents were visiting us in Chicago and we were having what was the first dinner in a decades long love affair with the French bistro Mon Ami Gabi (formerly known as Un Grand Café). I had no idea what the drink was but I knew I had to have it.
I was hooked the moment the Champagne flute was brought to the table, the rich color of its contents evidence that the bubbles were imbued with something wonderful – in this instance Crème de Cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur that has a mellow dark berry flavor.
I have only ever ordered this drink at that restaurant and it is always a sign of some celebration, often with my parents and then, later after Dad passed away, our many Mother-Daughters dinners there at Mon Ami. So, I feel indebted to that restaurant for introducing me to the lovely drink, but also for being a reliable restaurant we could take Dad to and not fear disaster.
Dad never liked any place too pretentious or expensive—but he did love a white tablecloth and a host who knew not to seat him in the back by the kitchen door. Case in point: the time we took my parents to whatever was the latest Bucktown hotspot circa 1999, on a street still rough around the edges. When we arrived at the destination, Maureen and Mom went inside while Dad waited by the car with me for the valet. He took one look around the street and turned to me, leveling his eyes directly into mine and said (it wasn’t a question, it was a statement of pure incredulity), “You and your sister come over here, at night?” Did I mention that this was his birthday dinner? Epic fail, a dozen years before that term was coined.
We were back at Mon Ami Gabi promptly for the next visit. And we visit MAG regularly ever since, always with fond memories close to mind of birthdays, family visits, and Bastille Day celebrations. Vive La France! And cheers to the drink I love to order there, and now make at home: La Kir Royale!
Kir Royale with Frozen Berries
This dressed up champagne is given its beautiful color and flavor with Creme de Cassis, a dark red liqueur made from black currants. Tradition dictates serving this cocktail in a tall champagne flute rather than a coupe, to appreciate its dramatic color.
- 1/2 ounce Creme de Cassis
- 3 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
- Frozen blackberry and raspberry
- Lemon twist
In a chilled Champagne flute, pour in the Crème de Cassis. Pour the just-opened Champagne or sparkling wine on top.
Garnish with a lemon twist and two frozen berries. Serve immediately.