Kir Royale: Easy 2-Ingredient Cocktail [The Ultimate Guide]

What is Kir Royale?

The Kir Royale (or Kir Royal) is a classic cocktail combining dry Champagne or sparkling wine with Crème de Cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur. Served in a champagne flute without ice, it is known for its effervescence, rich berry flavor and subtle red-purple hue. Popular for celebrations and as an aperitif, it pairs well with light appetizers and seafood. Its elegance and simplicity make it a classic choice for any sophisticated social gathering.

Do you like sparkling wine and berries? Then you’ll adore the Kir Royale cocktail!

What is the difference between Kir and Kir Royal(e)?

The Kir Royale (Kir Royal) is the effervescent version of the classic Kir cocktail that contains creme de cassis and still dry white wine.

Is it spelled Kir Royal or Kir Royale?

The correct spelling is Kir Royal, without the letter “e” at the end. This is according to the official cocktail list issued by IBA (International Bartenders Association) as well as the rules of the French language. However, the name is being misspelled so frequently, that the drink is more often than not referred to as Kir Royale.

Throughout this post, I am referring to the cocktail as Kir Royale because it is the more common spelling, albeit technically incorrect.


The Kir Royale traditionally combines 90 ml (3 oz) of dry Champagne, Prosecco, or any preferred dry sparkling wine with 15 ml (0.5 oz) of Crème de Cassis, a sweet liqueur made from black currants. This mix creates a drink that is both effervescent and delightfully sweet, offering a sophisticated taste experience.

  1. Dry Champagne/Sparkling Wine: 90 ml (3 oz)
  2. Crème de Cassis: 15 ml (0.5 oz)

Ingredient Substitutes

In a Kir Royale, substitutes can be creatively employed. For Champagne, Prosecco, Cava or any other sparkling wine offer a bubbly alternative. For a non-alcoholic version, sparkling grape juice or soda can be used. Instead of Crème de Cassis, raspberry liqueur like Chambord provide a similar berry sweetness. These substitutes allow for personalization while maintaining the essence of the cocktail.

  • For Champagne: Prosecco, cava, any alcoholic or non-alcoholic sparkling wine
  • For Crème de Cassis: Raspberry liqueur like Chambord

Ingredient Proportions

Achieving the perfect balance in a Kir Royale is crucial. The ideal ratio is 6 parts Champagne to 1 part Crème de Cassis. This proportion ensures a harmonious blend of the crispness of the sparkling wine with the sweet, deep berry flavor of the Crème de Cassis, making each sip a balanced experience.

  • Ideal Ratio: 6 parts of sparkling wine to 1 part of blackcurrant liqueur

Best Ingredients

The key to an exceptional Kir Royale lies in quality ingredients. Opt for a dry, crisp sparkling wine that complements the rich sweetness of Crème de Cassis. While specific brands aren’t as important, the freshness and quality of these two components are paramount to crafting a memorable and tasteful cocktail.

  • Sparkling Wine: Dry and Crisp
  • Crème de Cassis: Rich and Sweet

Flavor Profile

The Kir Royale is a symphony of flavors. It presents a delightful interplay of the dry and crisp notes of the sparkling wine with the sweet and fruity undertones of Crème de Cassis. The effervescence adds a refreshing dimension, making it an easy-to-drink cocktail with a sophisticated palate appeal.

  • Fruity, Sweet, and Effervescent
  • Dry, Crisp Sparkling Wine; Sweet, Berry-like Crème de Cassis

Tools & Equipment

Creating a Kir Royale requires minimal tools. A champagne flute is essential for serving, allowing the bubbles and aroma to be fully appreciated. A jigger ensures the precise ratio of Crème de Cassis to sparkling wine, vital for balancing flavors. These tools contribute to the elegance and experience of enjoying a Kir Royale.

  1. Champagne Flute: For proper serving and presentation
  2. Jigger: For accurate ingredient measurement

Instructions for Preparation

To prepare a Kir Royale, start by measuring 15 ml (0.5 oz) of Crème de Cassis and pour it into the champagne flute. Slowly top it with 90 ml (3 oz) of chilled sparkling wine to preserve the bubbles. Gently stir, if desired, to blend the flavors. The key is the gentle addition of sparkling wine to maintain effervescence and the delicate balance of flavors.

  1. Measure Crème de Cassis: Pour 15 ml (0.5 oz) into a champagne flute.
  2. Add Sparkling Wine: Top with 90 ml (3 oz) of chilled sparkling wine.
  3. Gentle Stir (Optional): Blend flavors while preserving effervescence.

Stir or Shake

In the preparation of a Kir Royale, stirring or shaking is not typically involved. The key is in the gentle pouring of the ingredients directly into the glass. This method preserves the delicate effervescence and flavor profile of the sparkling wine, while allowing the Crème de Cassis to infuse naturally, creating a layered and visually appealing effect in the glass.

  • Method: Direct pour, no stir/shake
  • Purpose: Preserve effervescence, flavors and layered effect

Ice (Chilling & Dilution)

A Kir Royale is traditionally served without ice to prevent dilution and maintain the integrity of the sparkling wine’s character. However, ensuring that both the sparkling wine and Crème de Cassis are well-chilled before serving is crucial. This provides the desired crispness and refreshing quality of the cocktail without compromising its strength and flavor profile.

  • No Ice: Served without ice
  • Chilled Ingredients: Ensure both sparkling wine and Crème de Cassis are chilled

Pro Tip: Pre-chill the glass before serving in a fridge or freezer, or with ice or ice water.

Troubleshooting (Biggest Mistakes)

Common mistakes in preparing a Kir Royale include overpouring Crème de Cassis, which can overpower the delicate balance of the cocktail, or using warm ingredients, which affects the taste and effervescence negatively. Another error is stirring too vigorously, leading to a loss of the sparkling wine’s bubbles. Attention to proportions, temperature, and a gentle hand are key to avoiding these pitfalls.

  • Overpowering Crème de Cassis: Avoid to maintain balance
  • Warm Ingredients: Chill both components
  • Vigorous Stirring: Gentle handling is essential to preserve bubbles


The presentation of a Kir Royale is as important as its taste. The cocktail exudes elegance and sophistication, traditionally served in a champagne flute. This glassware enhances the visual appeal, showcasing the drink’s effervescent quality and deep, ruby hue. The drink’s simplicity allows its natural beauty to shine, making it a visually stunning addition to any occasion.

Glassware (Classic & Alternative)

While the classic champagne flute is the preferred choice for a Kir Royale, offering an ideal showcase for its bubbles and color, alternative glassware can be used for a twist. A wine glass or a coupe can be employed for a different aesthetic, though it’s important to consider how these alternatives might affect the drinking experience, particularly in terms of effervescence and aroma.

  • Classic: Champagne Flute
  • Alternative: Wine Glass, Coupe

Garnish (Classic & Creative)

A Kir Royale is typically served without garnish to maintain its minimalist elegance. However, a twist of lemon peel or a fresh raspberry can be added. These garnishes should complement, not overwhelm, the drink’s flavor and appearance. The addition of garnish introduces a personal touch and can enhance the visual allure of the cocktail.

  • Classic: No Garnish, Minimalist Elegance
  • Creative: Lemon Peel, Fresh Raspberry

Variations & Riffs

The Kir Royale, a timeless classic, inspires numerous variations and riffs, each offering a unique twist on the original recipe. Some popular adaptations include:

  • Kir: The foundation, substituting sparkling wine with white wine.
  • Mimosa: A brunch favorite blending equal parts of sparkling wine and orange juice.
  • Bellini: Combining sparkling wine with peach purée for a fruity twist.
  • Rossini: A berry variant, using strawberry purée instead of Crème de Cassis.
  • Kir Impérial: A luxurious version, swapping Crème de Cassis with raspberry liqueur.
  • Hugo: A refreshing mix of sparkling wine, elderflower syrup, and mint.
  • French 75: A gin-infused sparkling wine cocktail with lemon juice and sugar.
  • Spritz: Prosecco with a bitter liqueur like Aperol or Campari, and soda water.

Each variant maintains the essence of a Kir Royale while introducing new flavors and experiences.

And there’s a whole sleuth of other easy & quick two-ingredient cocktail recipes out there.

Experiment – Creating Your Own Riff

Crafting your own Kir Royale riff involves experimenting with ingredient variations. Classic changes could include switching Crème de Cassis with other fruit liqueurs like blackberry or peach for a different berry or fruit profile. Creative twists might incorporate herbal or floral liqueurs, such as St. Germain (elderflower) or lavender syrup, offering a botanical note. The sparkling wine component can also be varied; try different types of sparkling wines or even sparkling ciders for a unique flavor.

The key to a successful riff lies in maintaining the balance between the sweetness of the liqueur and the crispness of the sparkling wine, ensuring that one does not overpower the other.

  • Classic Variations: Different berry or fruit liqueurs
  • Creative Twists: Herbal, floral liqueurs or syrups
  • Sparkling Wine Alternatives: Various types of sparkling wines or ciders
  • Balance: Maintain sweetness and crispness harmony

Serving Occasions

The Kir Royale, with its elegant and celebratory character, is ideal for a variety of occasions. It’s a classic choice for toasting at weddings, anniversaries, and other significant celebrations due to its luxurious and festive nature. Additionally, its light and refreshing profile makes it perfect for brunch gatherings or as an aperitif before dinner. Its versatility also extends to more casual events, like garden parties or intimate gatherings, where its sophistication can elevate the ambiance.

  • Celebratory Events: Weddings, Anniversaries
  • Social Gatherings: Brunch, Aperitifs, Garden Parties
  • Versatile: Suitable for both formal and casual occasions

Food Pairings

The Kir Royale’s crisp and slightly sweet profile pairs wonderfully with a range of foods. Its effervescence and berry notes complement light appetizers like canapés, seafood, especially oysters, and soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert. It also pairs well with spicy cuisines, as the sweetness can balance the heat. For dessert, fruit-based dishes or light pastries can harmonize with the cocktail’s fruity undertones. The key is to pair it with foods that won’t overpower its delicate flavors.

  • Light Appetizers: Canapés, Seafood, Soft Cheeses
  • Spicy Cuisines: Balances heat with sweetness
  • Desserts: Fruit-based dishes, Light pastries
  • Pairing Principle: Complement, don’t overpower the cocktail’s flavors

Popularity & Appeal

The Kir Royale, celebrated for its elegant simplicity and exquisite taste, holds a renowned status in the cocktail world. Its appeal lies in the luxurious yet effortless combination of rich, fruity Crème de Cassis topped with sparkling wine, making it a perennial favorite at celebrations and upscale bars.

Why try a Kir Royale?

The Kir Royale’s approachable nature, characterized by a light and refreshing profile, appeals to both cocktail enthusiasts and novices. This cocktail not only introduces the palate to a harmonious blend of flavors but also represents the essence of classic cocktail crafting, making it an essential experience for those seeking a drink that encapsulates both simplicity and luxury.

  • Blend of Luxury and Simplicity: Rich, fruity flavors with sparkling effervescence
  • Symbol of Sophistication: Ideal for special occasions and high-end bars
  • Accessible to All: Welcomes both seasoned aficionados and beginners
  • Unique Flavor Experience: Perfect balance of sweet and bubbly notes
  • Essential Cocktail Experience: Epitomizes classic cocktail elegance
Kir Royale Cocktail

Kir Royale: Easy 2-Ingredient Cocktail

An elegant, fizzy and berry-flavored timeless classic—the Kir Royal combines dry sparkling wine and Crème de Cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur. Served in a champagne flute with optional garnishes like a lemon twist or fresh raspberries, offering a refreshing and elegant drink ideal for celebrations or as a sophisticated aperitif.
Total Time 3 minutes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1 Measuring jigger
  • 1 Flute glass
  • 1 Spoon or stirring stick (optional)


  • 3 oz Creme de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
  • ½ oz Sparkling wine (dry Champagne, Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine)


  • Chill Ingredients: Ensure both the sparkling wine and Crème de Cassis are well-chilled. If desired, also pre-chill the serving glass.
  • Add Crème de Cassis: Pour the blackcurrant liqueur into the champagne flute.
  • Top with Sparkling Wine: Gently add the sparkling wine to the flute, pouring slowly to preserve the bubbles.
  • Optional Stir: If desired, lightly stir to mix the ingredients.
  • Optional Garnish: Optionally garnish with a twist of lemon peel or one or more fresh raspberries before serving.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: blackcurrant, creme de cassis, sparkling wine
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