Have a reason to celebrate (or just looking for one)? Add a little sophistication to your bubbly toast with this recipe for Kir Royale cocktails. Made with only two ingredients, this French Champagne drink instantly elevates any occasion.
Drinks with bubbles are just more fun.
One look at these pretty-in-pink Kir Royale cocktails, and you know what I mean. They scream, "Party!". Plus, with only two ingredients, these easy Champagne drinks come together quickly, which means any occasion can be a special one in no time flat.
We all have a guy named Felix Kir to thank for this tasty cocktail. He was a Catholic priest who was prominent in the French Resistance movement in World War II.
According to legend, Nazis looted all the Burgundy red wine during their occupation. Felix Kir added blackcurrant liqueur to the remaining local white wine to mimic the color of the lost red wines. This drink became known simply as Kir and continues to be served as an apertif before meals in France to this day.
The Kir Royale is a variation of Felix Kir's original cocktail where Champagne is poured in place of the white wine.
You only need two ingredients for this drink:
A few ingredient notes:
- Chambord vs. Creme de Cassis: A traditional French Kir Royale uses creme de cassis (a blackcurrant flavored liqueur). And that's totally OK if that's what you have on hand, but I personally prefer the more complex flavor that cognac-based Chambord brings to this drink.
Made from black raspberries instead of blackcurrants, Chambord gives these bubbly French cocktails the same irresistible pink hue as creme de cassis but with a more refined taste.
- Best sparkling wine for Kir Royale: Don't feel like you need to limit yourself to a French Champagne for this drink. You can also use a quality American sparkling wine, Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava. You'll find solid choices anywhere between the $15-20 range.
The key is to make sure your sparkling wine is very dry. The liqueur adds a bit of sweetness to the drink, so if your wine is already somewhat sweet, your cocktail will be too sweet.
Tip: Make sure both the Chambord and bubbles are icy cold when you serve them. There is no ice in this drink, so you want the cocktail to stay as chilled as long as possible.
I also recommend serving these in a flute with a stem rather than a stemless version. The body heat from your hand will warm up the drink faster than if you hold the glass by its stem.
I build my Kir Royale by adding the Chambord to the glass first and then pouring the sparkling wine on top. (See steps 1-2 above.)
If you're serving a crowd, it's super easy to fill all the flutes with Chambord in advance, pop them in the fridge and then quickly top with chilled bubbles when ready to serve.
But don't get hung up on the details. You can also pour the wine first and add liqueur second. Both options are delicious!
In France, a Kir Royale is often served as an apertif before dinner. (Talk about a festive way to kick off an evening!)
Any number of munchies will work well with this cocktail, so why not include some of our most popular appetizers, like this recipe for Bacon Cream Cheese bites? If dips are more your speed, this Olive Dip and Layered Greek Dip always disappear.
I also think this drink goes really well with dessert, too, especially this easy loaf cake made with almond paste and these make-ahead Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries.
More Champagne cocktails
- There is no more timeless bubbly drink than this 3-ingredient Classic Champagne Cocktail.
- A smidge of elderflower liqueur quickly takes this French 75 recipe from ordinary to outstanding!
- Love the sweet and savory twist in this Cherry Thyme Champagne Cocktail recipe.
- Tequila at breakfast? Yes, you can (and should), with this tasty Breakfast Mimosa made with tequila.
- Cranberries and gin give these Christmas Cocktails a seasonal spin that is perfect for the holidays.
- A splash of bubbles keeps this bourbon and Aperol drink recipe light and bright.
- ½ ounce Chambord chilled
- 5 ounces dry sparkling wine chilled
- Add Chambord to a flute glass. Top with sparkling wine.
- Garnish with raspberries or blackberries, if desired.
- Creme de cassis can be substituted for the Chambord for a slightly different flavor.
- Choose a dry sparkling wine to balance the sweetness of the Chambord. A sweeter sparkling wine will give you an overly sweet drink.
- Chill your ingredients thoroughly. There is no ice in the recipe to keep the drink cold after making it.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
You don't need an excuse to celebrate anything in order to enjoy these Kir Royale cocktails! Simply made with only two ingredients (dry sparkling wine and Chambord), these Champagne drinks are an easy way to elevate the every day.