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Kir Royale

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 28 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
Kir Royale Kir Kir Imperiale Champagne

The German soldiers who ransacked a French village's supply of wine didn't know what they were starting. The villagers weren't going to give up their precious wine that easily!

A rescue party led by Canon Felix Kir, the local priest, brought about the derailment of the train carrying the soldiers and the wine, thus allowing the villagers to take back what was rightfully theirs.

For this deed of heroism, it's said that the villagers created and named the Kir in the priest's honour.

An alternative version of this story is that it was Canon Kir himself who invented the drink! As is often the case with these cocktails, necessity proved a great inventive spur. The war and occupation led to poor quality wine production. Kir discovered that if he added some of the easily-available locally-produced blackcurrant liqueur to white wine, it would mask the unpleasant taste.

In truth, blanc-cassis, a white wine and blackcurrant liqueur drink, had been around for a long time before it took the priest's name!

Kir Royale
  • 1 part crème de cassis
  • 4 parts champagne
Pour the iced champagne into a chilled flute glass. Slowly add the crème de cassis so that it gently mingles with the champagne resulting in a pale pink blush. Serve with a twist of lemon.
  • For Kir, substitute white wine for the champagne
  • For Kir Imperiale, use only the best Dom Perignon!

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