Sunday, 20 September 2009


Canon Kir in offical mayoral gear Kir is the local aperitif named after Canon Félix Kir (1876 - 1968) who was not only a priest but an active fighter in the Résistance during the Second World War and later he became the mayor of Dijon. The drink was named after him because he always served it to visitors who attended functions during his time as mayor. Before this time it was known by its original name blanc-cassis.

Kir is 1/3 Crème de Cassis (a local blackcurrent liqueur 20 °) and 2/3 Bourgogne Aligoté a local white wine. Nowadays the proportions are more like 1/4 - 3/4 .

If any other white wine is used, the drink reverts to its original name of blanc-cassis.

A whole family of drinks has grown up around the Kir name.

A Kir Royale is made by replacing the wine with Champagne and a Kir Impérial is created by adding a shot of Marc de Bourgogne (the local firewater) to a Kir Royale although some sources say that a Kir Impérial is Champagne and raspberry liqueur. If the local sparkling wine Crémant is used it becomes a Kir Téméraire, Crémant from the Alsace makes it a Kir Alsace and if any other type of sparkling wine makes it a Kir Pétillant.

A Communard is made using burgundy red wine instead of white and a Cardinal is made by using a strong red wine instead of white most usually a Bordeaux.

There are many other variations on this theme. The white wine can be replaced to create the following:
Kir Normand - made with Normandy cidre and if you add a shot of Calvados and you get a Cidre Royal
Kir Breton - made with Brittany cidre
Tarantino – or a “Kir-beer” – is made with lager or light ale
Kir Savoyard – made with Rousette de savoie, apremont or abymes
Kir Médocain – made with rosé
Canon Kir also created the Double K when Krushchev visited him in Dijon and it is a normal Kir with a shot of vodka in it.

Staying with Bourgogne Aligoté, the type of liqueur can be changed to create:
Kir Mûre using wild backberry liqueur
Kir Peche using peach liqueur.
Kir Lorrain using mirabelle plum liqueur

Changing both elements of the drink and you can get:
Kir Celtique a mix of chouchen (a honey based liqueur similar to mead) and muscadet
Kir Pamplemousse using red grapefruit liqueur and sparkling white wine
And finally the most complicated of all
Hibiscus Royal is made with sparkling wine, peach liqueur, raspberry liqueur, and an edible hibiscus flower.

And who ever said an aperatif was easy?

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