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Kir Cocktail

Image credit: Barmano.com

The other day, I just got to thinking about one memorable night of my life about 8 years ago, when I was studying abroad at NYU in Paris. My friend Katharine and I happened to randomly get invited to a pizza place with a bunch of French strangers who were all about our age and we got to experience a real, fly-on-the-wall French night out.

As the glasses were repeatedly filled after the pizza was gone, the conversation grew louder and merrier, until one culminating moment where I fondly remember two Frenchmen standing on chairs, singing their lungs out while stripping off half their clothes.

The waiter stopped them before it got too interesting, unfortunately.

And now that I think about it, Katharine and I probably had no idea what was going on most of the time, because neither of our French skills were up to par at that point. But we had a really fantastic night none-the-less, and I specifically recall drinking my favorite drink that night: the Kir Cocktail.

Kir [pronounced something like keer] is one of those typically “insider”-type French drinks that I first learned about because I lived in a homestay with a French grandmother who taught me a lot about her culture. Typically, this drink is served before meals as an aperitif and dates all the way back to the mid-1800s. I used to order this drink on most nights out in Paris, and today I’d like to share it with you for your Friday 5 O’Cocktail!

Kir Cocktail
1 part crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
4 parts dry white wine, such as Chardonnay

Pour crème de cassis in a wine glass and top off with the white wine, which will mix the drink. Sip and enjoy!

Note: The jury is out on the exact ratio of liqueur to wine, but a Frenchwoman I know suggested 1:3, and I saw that the Bartender’s Association recommends 1:10, so I chose a happy medium of 1:4. Also, there a lot of great variations on this drink such as the Kir Royale, which is champagne instead of wine and is great for parties or weddings.

Midnight in ParisPS: For a great movie about Paris nightlife chock full of imaginative musings, watch Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. You won’t regret it!

QUESTION: Do you have any drinks from your past that seem to transport you back in time?