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February 1, 2011

A fragrant berry and delightful aperitif from France.  For many years I was the gracious and lucky recipient of a bottle of Creme de Cassis from a friend’s family in France.  I looked forward to that bottle every year and used it sparingly with others (yes, I was selfish).  Now that I have to buy it (it is never quite the same), I share it openly.  It was a ritual for me in Paris to wake up about 4 p.m., going to a local cafe to have a “cafe au lait”, followed by a couple of glasses of Kir (the black currants were the fruit for those breakfasts).  Then it was off for a couple hours of running errands and then settling down for a beautiful Parisian dinner.  Bon Appetit.


Ingredients and Directions

  • 1/3 Creme de Cassis (Cassis) *
  • 2/3 White Wine (recommend a dry white Burgundy)
  • A Twist of Lemon (optional)

First pour the Cassis into a (standard) wine glass, then add the wine.  (If you add the wine first the Cassis will not mix evenly)

* This is the official recipe for Kir, however most people find this too strong in the amount of Cassis regarding sweetness and alcohol.  I generally use one part Cassis to five parts wine.  Try it a few different ways as this ratio is a personal preference.  You should use a good wine but not a fine wine as you want to reflect the taste of the Cassis
“Cassis” means blackcurrant.  A drink made from the blackcurrant berry known in France as “Creme de Cassis.  Kir is named after Cannon Felix Kir, a priest of the French resistance and later mayor of Dijon from 1945-1968.  It became the official aperitif at town hall receptions and gained fame.  It was originally known as “vin blanc Cassis”, however is known as Kir in France and World-Wide.  On a healthy note, black currants have approximately seven times as much vitamin C as oranges and preserved within the Creme de Cassis.
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