Kir Royale

published Oct 23, 2021
Kir Royale Recipe

Light, fizzy, and pleasantly pink, Kir Royales are just as simple to make as they are tasty.

Serves1

Makes1 (6 1/2-ounce) drink

Prep5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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kir royale in multiple glasses on a table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

A kir royale might sound rather fancy, but don’t be fooled: The classic cocktail is nothing more than Champagne with a splash of crème de cassis (a dark, sweet liqueur made from currants). Apart from being a cinch to make, the bubbly cocktail is a delicious way to start a meal. The sweet currant liqueur stains the Champagne a beautiful pink color and lends it a berry sweetness that wakes it up. Here’s everything you need to know.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

What’s the Difference Between Kir and Kir Royale? 

Kir is simply chilled white wine with a splash of crème de cassis, whereas kir royale is made with Champagne in place of still wine. Because of this, kir royale is thought of as the bubbling, more celebratory version of the casual kir drink.

A traditional kir is made with aligoté wine — a variety of white wine from Burgundy. To make it, use the same ratios in this recipe but swap the Champagne for chilled aligoté.

What Does a Kir Royale Taste Like? 

A kir royale tastes like a glass of Champagne amped up with a sweet currant flavor. For anyone unfamiliar with currants, their flavor is sweet and tart with a bold, acidic bite: like a ripe, juicy berry with enough acidity to make your mouth pucker. When paired with dry Champagne, you have the perfect pre-dinner drink that’s slightly sweet, pleasantly tart, and refreshing. I like to serve kir royales with cheese and crackers as a light snack before dinner.

What Can I Use Instead of Crème de Cassis?

If you can’t find crème de cassis, there are a few liqueurs you can use instead.

  • Crème de Framboise: This is a sweet raspberry liqueur that can be found in well-stocked liquor stores. It has a deep red color and bright raspberry flavor that makes a great substitute.
  • Chambord: This is another type of raspberry liqueur that is easier to find — although a bit pricier. It comes in a round bottle that can be found in most any liquor store.
  • Black currant syrup: Non-alcoholic currant syrups are also a great substitute for creme de cassis. These can be found near the coffee syrups in well-stocked grocery stores or easily ordered online. Although it won’t pack the same boozy punch as a liqueur, it will taste just as delicious.

Kir Royale Recipe

Light, fizzy, and pleasantly pink, Kir Royales are just as simple to make as they are tasty.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes 1 (6 1/2-ounce) drink

Serves 1

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce

    crème de cassis

  • 6 ounces

    chilled dry champagne or sparkling wine (brut or extra brut)

  • 1

    raspberry (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pour 1/2 ounce crème de cassis into a 6-ounce champagne glass. Add 6 ounces chilled dry champagne or sparkling wine by pouring it slowly to prevent it from bubbling over. Garnish with 1 raspberry if desired and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Opening the champagne bottle: To safely open the champagne bottle untwist the cage of a chilled dry champagne bottle counterclockwise and remove it. Slowly twist the bottle (not the cork) until the bottle starts to loosen away from the cork. Gently remove the cork from the bottle, allowing the air to slowly seep out to prevent the bottle from erupting.

Chambord: If crème de cassis is not available you can use equal parts chambord, a sweet raspberry liqueur, in its place.

For a sweeter drink, double the amount of crème de cassis.