Felix Kir was an ordained priest, a resistance fighter during WWII, the mayor of Dijon from 1945 to 1968 and an über promoter of crème de cassis. He created both the Kir, made with white wine (traditionally Burgundy) and cassis, and the Kir Royale, which swaps the still wine for sparkling. Though the Kir is a simple cocktail, cassis, a black currant liqueur, gives the drink a dark depth of flavor—particularly if you are using a really good cassis like LeJay from Dijon, which is extra-complex thanks to the addition of black currant buds along with berries. (Fun fact: The cassis buds are also used in popular perfumes like Chanel No. 5.) Looking for the perfect aperitif? You just found it.
- Pour the cassis into a Champagne flute and top with sparkling wine of your choice.
- À votre santé!
Mix it Up
Recommended Crème de Cassis: LeJay, Gabriel Boudier, Edmond Briottet
One of the only cocktails regularly ordered in "bottomless" quantities, the simple mixture of Champagne and orange juice was "invented" in 1925 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris by bartender Frank Meier. Meier didn’t so much create a new cocktail as he tweaked the ratio of Champagne to orange juice in the Buck’s Fizz, which calls for more bubbly than...