Rags to Royale: The Kir Cocktail Story

raspberry kir cocktails
raspberry kir cocktails

If you’re looking for a sparkling beverage that’s as sophisticated as it is sweet, the Kir Royale will be your cup of tea (or in this case, wine).

Originating in Burgundy, France around the 1940s, the Kir was a drink named after the World War II hero, Felix Kir. Felix was mayor of the French city Dijon (yep, the namesake for the mustard!) from 1945-1968 and was very well-known for his support of local production. A large proponent of the #shoplocal movement, Kir strived to help his community thrive by encouraging local businesses.

One of his most notable attempts to support local products was through his creation of the Kir. The Kir featured a local white wine, Aligote, which was known for its high acidity. At the time, Aligote wasn’t very well-liked, and was often called “peasant wine” (harsh, bro). To create a more desirable beverage, Felix Kir added a local black currant liqueur to the peasant wine ultimately making a sweet and satisfying cocktail!

The sweetness of the black currant liqueur flavors really complemented the acidity of the Aligote. This Burgundy bevvy quickly grew popular in other regions of France, and even caught the attention of the classy Parisians. Once the high-class crowd fell in love with the Kir, they decided to replace the Aligote with Champagne (because OMG who would be caught dead drinking Aligote?). They renamed this “new” concoction the Kir Royale.

From peasant wine to “royal” wine, the story of the Kir is a real rags to royale story. Sure, the slight recipe and name change by the bourgeois was a little shady, but we ain’t mad about it. The Kir Royale is superb and everyone should give it a try.


Makes 1 Kir Royale

1 tablespoon Creme de Cassis (a.k.a. black currant liqueur)

3-5 fresh raspberries

Champagne, chilled


  1. Chill a champagne flute in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes before serving
  2. Pour the black currant liqueur in your champagne flute
  3. Add as many fresh raspberries (we recommend 3-5) as your heart desires
  4. Top the flute with champagne
  5. Sip and enjoy!






Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

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