The first weeks of my life in France my French was a bit rusty and I could pronounce only two drinks well – bière and cafe au lait- suffice it to say I spent my first week or two drinking one or the other. But, I kept noticing that the people at the tables around me were drinking some pretty little red drink served in a cognac glass- wanting to immerse myself completely in my new French life, I got out the guide book and started researching. The drink was a Kir, easy enough to pronounce, I finally tried one at a little terrace under the trees of lively Place Zola in Dijon. It was lovely-the taste a little like cranberry,tart and sweet, with a subtle kick of dry white wine.
It turns out the Kir is Dijon’s specialty cocktail, made famous by Dijon’s most famous mayor Félix Kir (the local lake is named after him too). The Kir is a blend of Creme de Cassis, black-currant liquor from Dijon, and white wine, usually an Aligote from Burgundy. Fresh, sweet, tart, pretty and so easy, it’s my go to drink for practicing that perfect nonchalant at the local cafe pose.
Be sure to order a Kir for happy hour in Dijon or anywhere else in France…and if you’ve got something to celebrate (Valentine’s day, perhaps?) make it a Kir Royale-Creme de Cassis and Champagne, mais oui!
What’s your favorite French cocktail?
(Image via Hospices-Beaune)