A Kir Royale is a classic French aperitif or cocktail served before dinner, but is also frequently served as an elegant starter to Afternoon Tea. It’s beautiful pale pink color makes it delightful at a bridal or baby shower.
What is in a Kir Royale?
A kir royale is a cocktail made with French champagne and creme de cassis. It’s a great way to elevate budget champagne. Just a tablespoon of the bright red liqueur turns wine or champagne into an elegant pale pink drink. Kir royale was created in France (naturally) by Canon Felix Kir in Dijon. (Yep, same region as the mustard!) You can read all about the history of kir royale here. This post was originally published on April 22, 2015. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
What’s the difference between a Kir and Kir Royale?
A kir royale is made with champagne and creme de cassis. It’s the upscale and sparkly version of a kir, which is made with white wine. I had my first kir in Paris just after college. It felt so very French! It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I discovered kir’s grown up and much fancier sister! And yes, kir and kir royale are definitely girly drinks! But no one says a man can’t enjoy them as well!
What is cassis?
Creme de cassis is a sweet French liqueur made from blackcurrants. Adding it to white wine and champagne makes the pretty pink kir or kir royale. You can also serve it as an after dinner drink.
What can be substituted for cassis?
While creme de cassis is the traditional liqueur, one can substitute chambord. Chambord is also a French liqueur, but made with raspberries.
How do you make a Kir Royale?
For a kir royale, you don’t need to use the best champagne. In fact you shouldn’t use the best champagne, save that for a special occasion! This is a way to dress up a medium quality or cheaper champagne, prosecco, or sparkling wine. Top each drink with a single raspberry and an orange twist. Have those ready before you pop the champagne cork. To make the orange twists, I like to use a channel knife, which makes a long ribbon. Twist the ribbon around a chopstick or skewer, then cut the twists into desired lengths.
Pour about 1 Tablespoon of creme de cassis into each champagne glass. You can add more cassis for a darker pink color.
Then top each glass with champagne. I start by filling each glass about 1/2 way so it doesn’t overflow, then repeat. One bottle of champagne will make 4 generous servings depending on how large your champagne glasses are. Garnish each glass with an orange twist and raspberry.
What can you serve with a Kir Royale?
This pale pink drink is a lovely and festive addition to any cocktail party. It’s also commonly served at a Royal Tea. If you’d like to serve it as part of an afternoon tea, you’ll find lots of ideas for Tea Sandwiches here.
This Smoked Salmon Cheesecake is a delicious appetizer perfect for cocktail parties or holiday gatherings. If serving it as part of a dessert party, it would be lovely with Meringue Hearts or this Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake. If serving for a larger group, you can prepare each glass with the cassis ahead of time, then add the champagne and garnish just before serving.
Here’s the recipe for Kir Royale
- 4 Tablespoons Creme de Cassis.
- 1 bottle Medium quality champagne or sparkling wine
- 4 Fresh raspberries
- 4 orange twist for garnish
- Into each champagne glass pour approximately 1 Tablespoon Creme de Cassis
- Top with champagne.
- Garnish with fresh raspberry and an orange twist.