Kir – Classic Recipe & History

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American






Total time



Learn how to make the classic Kir.


  • 1/2 oz 15 ml Black Currant Liqueur

  • 3 oz 90 ml White Wine


  • Technique: Simple Combine
  • Simply combine the ingredients together.
  • This works best if the ingredients are pre-chilled.


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The History Of The Kir.

The Kir is named after the Catholic priest Félix Kir, a Nazi resistance fighter in the Dijon region during WWII. Félix Kir is credited with helping around 5,000 POWs escape during the war. After the war ended, he was elected mayor of Dijon, where he stayed for 23 years till his death in 1968.

Unable to get red wine from neighboring regions of France, Felix combined the two regional beverages of Creme de Cassis and a dry, acidic white wine made from the Aligoté grape to create the Kir. I think the proportions I have provided are spot on, but the goal of adding the Creme de Cassis is to take the dry acid edge off the white wine and give it an air of red wine. You’re looking to make white wine with a mild currant flavor and not a sweet cocktail. I recommend using as dry of wine as possible because the creme de cassis is already really sweet, and if you start with sweet wine, then it’s just a bit too much, and you lose the other flavors. The dryer the wine, the better.

What Is The Difference Between The Kir And The Kir Royale?

The Kir is made with still white wine, while the Kir Royale is made with sparkling white wine. It is a French cocktail, so there is an assumption Champagne will be used, but any white sparkling wine will do. The Kir Royale has more of a celebration feel to it white the regular Kir is more of an everyday drink.

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