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Though a number of cocktails, such as the French 75, claim
to have French origins, one cocktail which definitely hails from France is the
Kir, and its variant, the Kir Royale.

The cocktail is in fact named after a man called Felix Kir,
who lived a varied life as an ordained priest, a resistance fighter during
World War II and as the mayor of Dijon for more than 20 years from 1945 to
1968. As well as having taken on these important roles, he was also devoted to
promoting crème de cassis, a liqueur made from blackcurrants which is now
synonymous across France.

Kir praised cassis so highly due to the dark depth of
flavour it offers – sweet yet tart, the flavour is also a complex one due to
the addition of other berries alongside the blackcurrant. The currants are
crushed and soaked in alcohol before sugar is added to create crème de cassis.

One of the products of his eager promotion of cassis was the
Kir cocktail, and its variant, the Kir Royale – both of which include just one
additional ingredient: white wine for the Kir, and Champagne for the Kir Royale.

The Kir cocktail is the perfect aperitif, especially if
enjoyed on one of our luxury holidays in France, out on a terrace or balcony
overlooking some sensational views! Here’s how you can make your very own
delicious drink.

First, you will need a champagne flute in which to serve
your cocktail in. All you need to do to create the Kir Royale is pour around 15ml of crème de cassis into the bottom of the glass, before topping up with a
champagne of your choice, making the cocktail around 9 parts champagne to every
1 part of crème de cassis. To make the Kir cocktail instead, simply top up your
glass with some white wine instead (ideally Burgundy).

Image: Shari’s Berries, available under Creative Commons

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