Kir Menu

recommended aperitifs

Maybe we shouldn’t count out le Kir quite yet. (# 2).

Although I’ll take a pass on one spiked with violet, or à la rose.

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  • January 26, 2010 3:25am

    Heh!! That’s funny. :) Paris. WTF, and all that jazz. Gotta love it! ;)

    Here’s to the revival of the Kir! *ching ching*

  • Sunny
    January 26, 2010 3:31am

    I’m with you, David — violette and rose are just too sticky sweet (and smell like air freshener!)

    I haven’t had Fenelon in a few years — it’s nice, though — a combination of the black wines of Cahors with Cassis.

  • josieinparis
    January 26, 2010 3:58am

    I’m a kir girl, count me in for the revival tour! I once had a kir a la violette, it tasted distinctly of metal, never again. These days I stick to cassis and sometimes mure in a kir royal. .

  • January 26, 2010 5:44am

    Aw shucks it’s only 10.45am and you got me wanting Kir now. I don’t care if it’s out of fashion.

  • Kate H.
    January 26, 2010 5:47am

    I love Kir – since I was a kid I always thought it was cool and sophisticated. I was saddened to read you post about its lack of social standing – so I’m pretty excited to know its not totally uncool. Of course nobody in far upstate NY really would know whether it was in our out of fashion! ;)

  • Dagmar
    January 26, 2010 6:17am

    I have been in Paris between Christmas and New Year. And I came across this restaurant:
    There they serve: Kir Corse a la creme de Chataignes

    It’s amazing!


  • john
    January 26, 2010 7:08am

    Here’s an early vote for The Kir, here/there…anywhere…especially a royale. At Adele’s in Carson City you have to tell them to hold the strawberry, but that’s a quibble. A kir just makes so much sense, light and easy. If you want to get toasted there are always negronis, sweet & dry, plenty to choose from in the delicious dept. depending on the mood/meal/locale… Funny naming one after Saint Simon’s idol the Archbishop of Cambrai…never seen that before…

  • January 26, 2010 7:35am

    My mum lives in La Vallée de la Loire, and there’s a restaurant near her called L’Hermitière, which does a house kir of cider with cassis. Okay, I suppose it’s not strictly a kir, but it’s blummin’ lovely!

    I’ve had a kir à la violette, and it’s not as bad as it sounds – although it’s better with fizz than white wine.

  • January 26, 2010 7:46am

    I was tres triste after reading here that Kir was going out of style. Always a favorite of mine, I extend a happy Bienvenue to the Kir Revival!!

  • January 26, 2010 7:55am

    I was a little nervous after your last post on Kir. I love a Kir Royale, and was saddened by the the thought of their being out of style. I’m glad to see we can’t count them out yet!

    But, to the real reason I’m commenting: What’s a Kir Alsace? I may have to spring that one on my friends at a dinner I’m having, where I’m serving choucroute garnie.

  • January 26, 2010 7:56am

    One of the first things I did when I visited Paris for the first time, was, after a stroll in Le Marais, sit on the banks in Jardin de l’Arsenal and drink a kir with a friend. I was completely drunk by lunchtime and I was totally, immediately, crazy in love with Paris. So to me Paris will always mean kir, I’m relieved to hear it is not a dead tradition!

  • Jenny
    January 26, 2010 8:07am

    Yes, well, who cares if Kir is not in fashion anymore — when I come to Paris that’s what I am going to drink! Everyone will know I’m a tourist anyway, so might as well
    be unfashionable and drink Kir.

  • Sunny
    January 26, 2010 8:49am

    I found only two explanations of Kir Alsace — one is a kir flavored with Bergamot; the other is a Kir Royale, only made with cremant d’Alsace (the sparkling white made in the Alsace region). No idea which (if either) is correct.

    If the second is correct, then most folks drink a Kir Alsace, as not too many people want to steer a lovely Champagne vrai off-road by adding another sweet flavor to it. Most “Kir Royales” I’ve consumed and mixed, whether at home, at a cafe or resto, or at someone else’s home, have been made with a cremant of some sort – Alsace, Loire, etc., rather than with Champagne.

  • January 26, 2010 9:08am

    Yay! So happy that someone in Paris recommends kirs!

    I brought a bottle of creme de violette along with creme de cassis home from France and I do have to say, as excited I was at the prospect of a kir a la violette, I think I prefer my violette better in a bar of soap.

  • January 26, 2010 9:15am

    I love the kir royal violette, but I was a huge fan of those violette candies, ceci explique cela :)

    i’ve never tried the griottes variety, it seems interresting !


  • The Paris Food Blague
    January 26, 2010 9:25am

    i am still not convinced…

  • January 26, 2010 11:31am

    Wow, I only know the Kir Royal, I need to expand my knowledge immediately.

  • Frances
    January 26, 2010 12:07pm

    ..great to know that it is still on the menus. I will be in Paris in March and will definitely risk it all and order one. I’m only familiar with a Kir Royale. What are the other choices on the menu? Any suggestions?

  • January 26, 2010 1:29pm

    Oh yayy! This makes me way happier than it should at 10:30 on a Tuesday morning! Good to know that a kir is not completely passe!

  • January 26, 2010 1:39pm

    A kir is my favorite aperitif – who cares if it’s in style or not? A local cafe here in Zurich makes them with herbal syrups and they are so delicious!

  • January 26, 2010 2:20pm

    A few years ago while in Dijon, I discovered yet another Kir. The Kir Cardinal, which is made with red wine and cassis. A perfect winter apertif. Long live Le Kir!

  • Jan
    January 26, 2010 4:22pm

    When I spent a winter in the Ardeche department, I became fond of the kir ardechois, which is with a creme de chataigne (chestnut). If the corse people want to claim that too, it doesn’t hurt my feelings; it is still pretty tasty! If any French people want to look funny at Americans drinking passe kirs, let it be known that there are some of them who drink port as an aperitif. How weird is that?

  • January 26, 2010 5:04pm

    The neon, torn cardboard sign doesn’t offer much hope that they are of high quality, either — do they?

  • Maureen
    January 26, 2010 9:04pm

    I just made myself a kir royale, on a Tuesday night, yes I did!

  • Truc
    January 26, 2010 10:05pm

    Good is good, regardless of the fashion of the day. Having worked in fashion for many years, I have learned the best method of self preservation is to become immune to trends. If you can do that, style is what remains. You’ve got style David, so drink your kir and detractors be damned.

  • Nicole
    January 27, 2010 1:26am

    Kir Royale is not out of fashion in Luxembourg, where I indulge whenever I’m there. Nor is it out dated in Nancy where I had a bergamot flavoured one which had a very unusual taste, as well as one with a mirabelle in it….long live kir.

  • Dagmar
    January 27, 2010 5:37am

    Le KIR est mort, vive le KIR!

  • January 27, 2010 5:44am

    When you’re feeling In the Pink, you might want to try pink quince Kir – with just a drizzle of the syrup left when poaching quince….Vive le Kir!

  • January 27, 2010 6:47am

    To remember our many enjoyable holidays in Brittany we love to drink Kir Breton. It is lovely and cooling in for the summer and slightly longer than the wine version (at least if you make it yourself it can be!) It is a mixture of dry cider (preferably Breton if available) and liqueur: we have seen various options. Blackcurrant (cassis) is standard, as with all Kir versions, but we have seen it with raspberry (framboise) and, my favourite, blackberry (mur). Blackberry and apple is a combination that never fails to please!!

  • Jane in Denmark
    January 28, 2010 4:45am

    When I was in Paris last fall, I noticed that eveyone was drinking beer in my local cafes and was afraid that the neighborhood had been taken over by Denmark. What a relief to hear that it is just that drinking beer is in fashion.

    We happened to come across a den of Kir drinkers, and that was the cafe at the Quai Branly Museum for Sunday lunch. It was full of French families with kids and older people, and I swear that all the women were drinking Kir. Perhaps an uncool crowd but so are we. That lovely spot is a good place for a sip of guilt-free Kir.

  • January 28, 2010 11:33am

    i am with Dagmar- i tried a Kir a la creme de Chataignes at Le Belle Hortense and absolutely adored it. maybe it was the books i was surrounded by- but it tasted rather lovely.

  • Jennifer
    January 29, 2010 2:33am

    Well, who cares what’s in fashion: after all, there are no real taste police with shiny epaulettes to arrest unfashionable customers. Luckily, kir cannot suddenly became unavailable. I love the stuff and all it’s variations. Great to learn here that cider can also be sexed up in this way. In my experience the liqueur is often added to disguise poor quality bubbly.

    The last summer was abundant here in the Loire and I made a lot of fruit liqueurs, from wild strawberry and wild cherry to sorb berries. They’re still ripening but should be ready for this summer’s kir try-outs. Last year I made a passionfruit liqueur that was absolutely sublime in kir. We use crémante de Bourgogne (said to be the best crémante) – champers being too expensive.

    Keep up the good work!


  • January 31, 2010 12:57pm

    I DO love a good kir. Cheers to its revival! When we were in Brittany over New year, we had a Kir Breton which was cider and cassis – too sweet for my liking but interesting quand-même…

  • Barbara
    February 2, 2010 4:36pm

    We still teach the Kir and all of its derivatives at my bartending school. But then again, we still teach the Pink Lady. Felix Kir would be very sad to know that his drink is passe. We can’t do that to him, so let’s all drink a Kir tonight in his honor and to all French mayors who are clever enough to create drinks using their native products! Hmmm.can’t think of any others.

  • PHil
    February 4, 2010 1:27pm

    Don’t rule out the violet kir. A little bit is quite nice!

  • February 4, 2010 7:20pm

    I love a Kir! The best I ever had was at a fantastic restaurant in Goudargues called Graine de Soleil. It had chestnut liqueur (chataigner?) and was light, nutty, and extremely delicious. I’m not afraid of superlatives either!

    As well, thanks so much for your blog. I read often and comment little, despite your charms and wonderful ability to make me laugh.

  • Altgol
    February 7, 2010 8:59am

    My wife and I were in Paris in late December (12th trip) and ordered kir every day, either at a bar before going to a bistro for dinner or at the bistro itself (or both!). No one gave us a wry look or seemed the least bit put off, and lots of locals were drinking kirs as well. For us, kir is one of the signature tastes of Paris, no ‘revival’ needed!

  • DavidP
    March 7, 2010 10:49am

    Our “house aperitif” in France could be considered a kir derivative: white wine with Pineau des Charentes, the sweet, cognac infused, vin de liqueur from the Charente-Maritme area north of Bordeaux. Very tasty!

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