Looking for an elegant holiday drink that serves a crowd and mixes in seconds? Voilà! The Kir Royale.
In this third in our series of holiday cocktails with Food & Style (see our first cocktail and second cocktail), chef Viviane Bauquet Farre puts her signature twist on the Kir Royale: a quintessentially French, bubbly apéritif.
The Kir Royale’s history dates back to post-WWII France and the Kir Cocktail, a drink named after French Resistance fighter Félix Kir. Elected mayor of Dijon after the war, Kir created the drink to promote Dijon’s local white wines. To make his namesake libation, Kir mixed the wine with crème de cassis, an elderberry-based liqueur with sweet, fruity notes that offset the regional wine’s acidity.
The pretty, rosy cocktail was an immediate hit. Quickly embraced by France’s haute bourgeoisie, the drink got an elevated touch with the substitution of champagne for ordinary vin blanc.
Bauquet Farre makes the Kir Royale her own by mixing Chambord in place of crème de cassis. “The raspberry liqueur has a delicate and sophisticated flavor that’s irresistible with a good sparkler,” she notes. “For a bit of fun, I top the drinks with frozen raspberries.”
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
6 lemon twists
3 oz (90 ml) Chambord or raspberry liqueur
1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine—very well-chilled
1. Rinse the raspberries and drain on paper towels. Once dry, place in a single layer on a tray lined with wax paper and freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.
2. Place a lemon twist in each champagne flute. Pour a 1/2 ounce (15 ml) of liqueur in each flute. Top with the champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with 2 or 3 frozen berries and a twist of lemon.