The Story Behind The Kir Royale

The Kir Royale’s origin story reads like the side plot of an "Indiana Jones" tale — complete with a priest, Felix Kir, who daringly defied the Nazis and became a hero of the Résistance after surviving an assassination attempt in 1945. Born and raised in Dijon, Burgundy, Kir created his namesake drink after the region’s beloved wines were confiscated during World War II. To create the traditional Kir cocktail, he mixed crème de cassis — a dark red liqueur — with Aligoté to recreate the color of Burgundy’s iconic red wines, and to make the Kir Royale, he swapped white wine for Champagne for a bubbly twist.

Sweet blackcurrant liqueur mellows the dryness of sparkling wine and makes for a sophisticated cocktail. Popular as an apéritif garnished with raspberries or a lemon twist, the Kir Royale is a sweet way to start off the evening.


  • 1/2 ounce crème de cassis
  • 5 ounces Champagne (or other sparkling wine)
  • Garnish: lemon twist


  1. Add the crème de cassis to a flute glass then top with Champagne or sparkling wine.
  2. Garnish with lemon twist.

Rate This Recipe:

(127 votes)

Yield: 1
Calories: 174
Updated: 2022-06-01

The Kir Royale Recipe