A good glass of wine is a comforting way to end (or start) your day. And if that wine happens to be Champagne or another sparkling variation, even better. But just because you’re drinking sparkling wine doesn’t mean you can’t also have a cocktail.
No, we’re not talking about double-fisting; we speak of bubbly drinks like the French 75 and the Kir Royale. While the former requires gin, fresh lemon juice and sugar in addition to Champagne, the latter is an effortless duo featuring solely sparkling wine and crème de cassis. It’s simple, sure, but it tastes more complex than its constituent parts.
The Kir Royale is a take on the Kir, a popular French drink combining dry white Burgundian wine with crème de cassis that dates back to the 19th century and was further popularized after World War II. The Kir Royale sets itself apart by specifically calling for Champagne, while another variation, the Kir Imperial, calls for sparkling wine and raspberry liqueur rather than cassis.
Aside from being delicious, the best thing about the Kir Royale might be how easy it is. The scant half ounce of crème de cassis permeates the Champagne, resulting in a gorgeous cocktail with a hint of berry sweetness. Be sure to pour the liqueur into the glass first, followed by the Champagne, which ensures the ingredients will mix naturally. A bit more or less cassis can fine tune the cocktail to one’s individual taste, turning any glass of bubbly into a special occasion and turning heads at your next party.
1/2 ounce creme de cassis
Dry Champagne (or other sparkling wine), to top
Garnish: lemon twist
Pour the creme de cassis into a Champagne flute.
Top with the Champagne.
Garnish with a lemon twist.