Have a Glass of Kir
I’ve never been a fan of alcoholic beverages. I had my first glass of champagne in Paris in 2013. I’ve never acquired a taste for alcohol (or coffee for that matter), so having any alcoholic beverage is primarily social and/or ceremonial. Being in Paris means I’m not driving (and I avidly discourage drinking and driving), so I have no problem having a glass of champagne with dinner when the stars are aligned in my favor. I don’t enjoy wine because it lacks that fruity flavor, however I’ve found that kir suits my taste as a nice crossover between champagne and wine.
Kir is offered at many restaurants in Paris, sometimes complimentary with your meal. When asked, a waiter told me that kir was made of a dry white wine with a splash of highly alcoholic raspberry sauce. He said that the darker the kir is, the more potent it is. I’ve certainly had many shades of kir in my travels through Paris and I can confirm that that a few sips from a darker glass of kir will have you exponentially relaxed by the time your entree arrives.
According to Wikipedia, kir is made from “a measure of crème de cassis topped up with white wine“. “Crème de cassis” is a sweet, dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants. Now blackcurrants and raspberries are two completely different fruits (the blackcurrant resembles a blueberry or blackberry and is distinguishable from a raspberry) . So while I cannot correct that waiter, I will give him a pass for possibly confusing his English vocabulary. But I certainly appreciated the information!
So on that occasion (circa 2016) while traveling home from Paris, I stopped at the duty free shop in Charles de Gaulle (CDG Terminal 2G) and asked for something to make kir at home (mostly out of curiosity). There, I purchased a bottle of “Gabriel Boudier Liqueur Creme de Cassis de Dijon” for about 25 euro. It’s 20% vol, so it’s very potent (well for me anyway).
The few times I’ve had a glass of kir at home, I’ve used about a tablespoon of Crème de cassis with a champagne glass of white wine which is just enough to take me daydreaming back to Paris without intoxicating results. As I mentioned, I’m not a fan of alcohol and don’t typically consume it, so to have a glass of kir at home, I literally have to buy a bit of white wine, and discard most of it unused. However, this bottle of Gabriel Boudier Liqueur Creme de Cassis is still good after 4 years as it sits quietly amongst my treasures waiting to take me back to Paris for an evening. I’d say I have a few hundred glasses of kir left… enough for a lifetime. So don’t be surprised if you are sitting at my dining table and you hear me ask, “Hey, would you like to have a glass of kir?”