The Perfect Kir Royal Recipe: A Classic French Cocktail


When it comes to classic French cocktails, the Kir Royal stands out as a timeless favorite. This elegant and refreshing drink is a variation of the traditional Kir, which is made with white wine and crème de cassis. The Kir Royal, on the other hand, replaces the white wine with champagne, adding a touch of luxury to this already delightful concoction. In this article, we will explore the history of the Kir Royal, its ingredients, the step-by-step recipe, and some variations you can try. So, let’s raise our glasses and dive into the world of Kir Royal!

The History of Kir Royal

The Kir Royal is named after Félix Kir, a French Catholic priest and politician who served as the mayor of Dijon, a city in the Burgundy region of France, from 1945 to 1968. Félix Kir was known for his love of local products, especially the wines of Burgundy. He popularized the traditional Kir cocktail, which was made by combining white wine with crème de cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur.

The Kir cocktail became a symbol of Burgundy and was often served at official events and receptions. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that the Kir Royal emerged as a variation of the original Kir. The substitution of champagne for white wine added a touch of elegance and sophistication to the drink, making it a favorite among the French aristocracy and eventually gaining popularity worldwide.

The Ingredients

To make a perfect Kir Royal, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Crème de cassis
  • Fresh blackcurrants or a lemon twist (optional, for garnish)

Champagne is the preferred choice for making Kir Royal due to its effervescence and crisp flavor. However, if you don’t have champagne on hand, you can use any sparkling wine as a substitute. Crème de cassis, a sweet blackcurrant liqueur, is the key ingredient that gives the Kir Royal its distinctive flavor and color. It is readily available in most liquor stores and online.

The Kir Royal Recipe

Now that we have gathered our ingredients, let’s dive into the step-by-step recipe for making a delicious Kir Royal:

  1. Chill the champagne or sparkling wine in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. It is essential to serve Kir Royal cold to enhance its refreshing taste.
  2. Take a champagne flute or a similar tall, narrow glass and add a small amount of crème de cassis to the bottom. The exact amount will depend on your personal preference, but a ratio of 1:5 (crème de cassis to champagne) is a good starting point.
  3. Gently pour the chilled champagne into the glass, allowing it to mix with the crème de cassis. The champagne will create a beautiful effervescence as it combines with the liqueur.
  4. If desired, garnish the Kir Royal with a few fresh blackcurrants or a lemon twist. This adds a touch of visual appeal and complements the flavors of the drink.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy your homemade Kir Royal!

Remember to adjust the amount of crème de cassis according to your taste preferences. Some people prefer a stronger blackcurrant flavor, while others prefer a more subtle hint. Feel free to experiment and find the perfect balance for your palate.

Variations of Kir Royal

While the classic Kir Royal recipe is delightful on its own, there are several variations you can try to add a twist to this iconic cocktail. Here are a few ideas:

  • Kir Imperial: Replace the crème de cassis with Chambord, a raspberry liqueur, to create a Kir Imperial. This variation adds a fruity and slightly tart flavor to the drink.
  • Kir Peche: Substitute the crème de cassis with peach liqueur to make a Kir Peche. This variation offers a sweeter and more delicate taste, perfect for those who prefer a milder cocktail.
  • Kir Framboise: Use framboise liqueur, made from raspberries, instead of crème de cassis to create a Kir Framboise. This variation brings a vibrant raspberry flavor to the mix.

Feel free to experiment with different liqueurs and fruits to create your own unique Kir Royal variations. The possibilities are endless!


1. Can I use other types of wine instead of champagne?

While champagne is the traditional choice for making Kir Royal, you can experiment with other sparkling wines, such as Prosecco or Cava, to create your own twist on the classic recipe. Each wine will bring its unique flavors and characteristics to the drink.

2. Can I make a non-alcoholic version of Kir Royal?

Absolutely! If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages or want to serve Kir Royal to guests who don’t consume alcohol, you can replace the champagne with sparkling water or a non-alcoholic sparkling wine. Combine it with a non-alcoholic blackcurrant syrup or a similar fruit syrup to mimic the flavor of crème de cassis.

3. Can I use frozen blackcurrants instead of fresh ones for garnish?

Yes, frozen blackcurrants can be a convenient alternative to fresh ones for garnishing your Kir Royal. They will add a pop of color and a burst of flavor to the drink. Simply thaw the frozen blackcurrants before using them.

4. Can I make a pitcher of Kir Royal in advance?

While it is best to serve Kir Royal immediately after preparation to enjoy its effervescence, you can make a pitcher in advance if you are hosting a party or a gathering. Mix the champagne and crème de cassis in a pitcher, cover it, and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, pour the mixture into individual glasses and garnish as desired.

5. Are there any other classic French cocktails I should try?

Absolutely! France is known for its rich cocktail culture, and there are several other classic French cocktails worth exploring. Some popular choices include the French 75, the Sidecar, and the Boulevardier. Each of these cocktails has its unique flavors and history, making them a delightful addition to any cocktail repertoire.


The Kir Royal is a classic French cocktail that combines the elegance of champagne with the sweet and fruity flavors of crème de cassis. Named after Félix Kir


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