Classic Kir Royale Cocktail

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The Kir Royale cocktail is a classic French cocktail made with Champagne or French sparkling wine, and Crème de Cassis. It has a delightful, pale pink coloring and is the perfect combination of crisp Champagne and sweet, tart, berry flavor.

Closeup of kir royale cocktail with orange peel and raspberry garnish.

Transform Budget Champagne Into a Kir Royale Drink!

This Champagne cocktail is a great way to elevate budget Champagne or dry sparkling wine. With just a tablespoon of the bright red crème de cassis liqueur, it will turn white wine or Champagne into an elegant, pale pink drink that boasts a subtle sweetness.

A kir royal is often served as an elegant starter to afternoon tea, but its beautiful, pale pink color makes it perfect for the holidays, Valentine’s Day, at a bridal or baby shower, or any special occasion.

What Does a Kir Royale Taste Like?

A Kir Royale cocktail is made by combining Champagne and crème de cassis, a sweet, blackcurrant, French liqueur. It’s served in a Champagne flute.

The refreshing, slightly sweet taste has a sophisticated edge. With the crisp Champagne and fruity flavors from the creme de cassis, the overall taste is a balanced blend of sweet but sharp, making it a popular aperitif during special occasions.

What’s the Difference Between a Kir and a Kir Royale?

I had my first Kir in Paris just after college. I felt so very French! It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I discovered Kir’s grown-up and much fancier drink!

The difference between a Kir and a Kir Royale drink lies in the base alcoholic ingredient used in each drink. A Kir is typically made with a dry white wine, while a kir royale drink substitutes the wine with Champagne or another type of sparkling wine.

Both versions include creme de cassis, but the use of Champagne gives the royal drink a more luxurious twist.

Kir Royale in champagne glasses.

Is Crème de Cassis the Same as Chambord?

Both liqueurs share a French heritage and are known for their fruitiness. Creme de cassis is a sweet, dark liquor made from blackcurrants and tends to have a deep berry flavor and tart profile.

Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur with a touch of vanilla and honey that is a bit sweeter and a perfect Crème de Cassis substitute. It provides a more layered taste due to its blend of ingredients.

While Crème de Cassis cocktails are great and traditionally used in the kir royal recipe, Chambord is a fantastic creme de cassis substitute, especially if you like your royal drinks a little sweeter.

Why is it Called a Kir Royal?

This Champagne cassis cocktail was created in France in the 19th century by Canon Felix Kir, who was also the mayor of Dijon (yep, the same region as the mustard!).

He first invented the Kir, made with white wine, followed by the Kir Royale, made with Champagne. You can read all about the history of the Kir Royale here.

How Do You Make a Kir Royale Cocktail?

You don’t need to use the best Champagne for this Champagne and Crème de Cassis cocktail. In fact, you shouldn’t use the best champagne – save that for a toast!

To make the kir royale cocktail, pour about one tablespoon of Crème de Cassis into each champagne glass. You can add more cassis for a darker pink color or to your personal taste.

Creme de cassis in champagne glasses with champagne being poured into one glass.

Next, top off each glass with champagne. 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 flute glasses are.

Kir royale in champagne glass.

To garnish this fancy drink, top with fresh raspberries 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.

Channel knife next to an orange with  peel wrapped around a wooden skewer.

What Can You Serve With a Kir Royale?

This pale pink drink is a lovely and festive addition to any cocktail party. If you’d like to serve it as part of an afternoon tea, you’ll find lots of ideas for Tea Sandwiches here.

Three hands toasting with Kir Royale cocktails.

This Smoked Salmon Cheesecake is a delicious appetizer perfect for cocktail parties or holiday gatherings. 

If serving the Kir Royale as part of a dessert party, it would be lovely with Meringue Hearts or this Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake.

If serving a larger group, you can prepare each glass with the cassis ahead of time, then add the champagne and garnish just before serving.

The kir royal is a way to dress up a medium quality or cheaper champagne, Italian prosecco, or sparkling wine. If you love sparkling drinks, you might like an Aperol Spritz or a  Peach Bellini! 

kir royale

Kir Royal

A classic French Champagne cocktail made with Creme de Cassis.
5 from 24 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Aperitif, Cocktail
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people
Calories 119 kcal


  • 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.


While French champagne is traditionally used in a Kir Royale, sparkling wine or prosecco can be substitute.
Cassis is a liqueur made from black currants. Chambord can be substituted in a pinch.


Serving: 1gCalories: 119kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 165mgSugar: 2gCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. 5 stars
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5 from 24 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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