What is ‘Kir’?

Kir is a popular French cocktail made of blackcurrant liquor crème and white wine. This practice started about 100 years ago and was originally used to enhance the flavor of lesser wines such as Bourgogne Aligoté or Chablis and it is still used today by young people whose parents still make the ‘crème de cassis’ themselves. There are various variations for the blackcurrant such as peach, raspberry, blueberry and others, but the blackcurrant has and still remains as the leader for Kir. When done with Peach it is mixed with RoséKir Lyonnais’, with cider it is ‘Kir Breton’ and finally ‘Kir Royale’ is with Champagne.

I spoke with a Frenchman who explained to me how the ‘crème de cassis’ is made:

First the blackcurrant with red wine from North Africa with the highest amount of alcohol possible about 15% and the least expensive, you let it marinate for 3 days and then you “press” it and then you filter it with a white cotton “torchon” to let get as much juice as possible. Add “sucre cristal” which is used for ‘confiture’ and you heat it in a large casserole until it starts boiling and then you remove it as soon as it starts boiling and then you let it cool and then add ‘alcohol medical’ 90% and bottle it and it’s done!

It keeps for about 6 months but there have been cases where people drink it after a year or more without any harmful side-effects.

If you don’t want to do all this work, you can buy it ready-to-drink at your local liquor store or supermarket, but it doesn’t taste as good, or as strong.

I recommend ‘Kir’ for people who do not like the taste of wine and wish to have the taste of a sweet cocktail while still enjoying wine with friends.

By: Yessika Mármol

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