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The Kir Cocktail-The Forgotton Classic And Its Spin-Offs

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Introducing the "Country-Time Kir".
This week on our Instagram channel, we posted 2 pics of our fruity spin on a classic Kir Royale Cocktail. Before we give you The BarBack Guy's secret recipes of the week, why don't we delve a bit into the history of this magnificent bubbly cocktail.

A Bit Of History...

Kir is a popular French cocktail made with a measure of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) topped up with white wine.

In France it is usually drunk as an apéritif before a meal or snack. It used to be made with Bourgogne Aligoté, a lesser white wine of Burgundy. Now, various white wines are used throughout France, according to the region and the whim of the barkeeper. Many prefer a white Chardonnay-based Burgundy, such as Chablis.

It used to be called blanc-cassis, but it is now named after Félix Kir (1876–1968), mayor of Dijon in Burgundy. Kir was a pioneer of the twinning movement in the aftermath of the Second World War, and popularized the drink by offering it at receptions to visiting delegations. Besides treating his international guests well, he was also promoting two economic products of the region.

Kir allowed one of Dijon's producers of crème de cassis to use his name, then extended the right to their competitors as well. According to Rolland (2004), the reinvention of blanc-cassis (post 1945) was necessitated by the German Army's confiscation of all the local red Burgundy during the war. Faced with an excess of white wine, Kir renovated a drink that used to be made primarily with the red.

Another explanation that has been offered is that Mayor Kir revived it during a year in which the ordinary white wine of the region was inferior and the creme de cassis helped to disguise the fact.

Following the commercial development of crème de cassis in 1841, the cocktail became a popular regional café drink, but has since become inextricably linked internationally with the name of Mayor Kir. When ordering a kir, waiters in France sometimes ask whether the customer wants it made with crème de cassis (blackcurrant), de mûre (blackberry) or de pêche (peach).

The International Bartenders Association gives a recipe using 1/10 crème de cassis, but French sources typically specify more; 19th-century recipes for blanc-cassis recommended 1/3 crème de cassis, which modern tastes find cloyingly sweet, and modern sources typically about 1/5. Replacing the crème de cassis with blackcurrant syrup is extremely discouraged.

Although we couldn't find any mention of a garnish on this one on the original, I have found that most bartenders would agree that a lemon twist would be an appropriate finish.

Variations Include:

  • Kir Royal - made with Champagne (the inspiration for the "Country-Time Kir")
  • Cidre Royal - made with cider instead of wine, with a measure of calvados added
  • Communard/Cardinal - made with red wine instead of white
  • Hibiscus Royal - made with sparkling wine, peach liqueur, raspberry liqueur, and an edible hibiscus flower
  • Kir Berrichon - from the Berry region of France. Made with red wine and blackberry liqueur (Crème de mûres)
  • Kir Bianco - made with sweet white Vermouth instead of wine.
  • Kir Breton - made with Breton cider instead of wine.
  • Kir Impérial - made with raspberry liqueur (such as Chambord) instead of cassis, and champagne
  • Kir Normand - made with Normandy cider instead of wine.
  • Kir Pamplemousse - made with red grapefruit liqueur and sparkling white wine
  • Kir Pêche - made with peach liqueur
  • Kir Pétillant - made with sparkling wine
  • Pink Russian - made with milk instead of wine
  • Tarantino - made with lager or light ale ("kir-beer")

"The Story Of Craft Cocktail Bartending" will be our extensive blog sub-series coming this fall and winter. We will explore the fascinating history of famous American and European bars and the bartenders who made them, while divulging the many exciting cocktail recipes on the trend.

This Week's Cocktail Recipe...

As per usual with our BarBack Tool Company recipes, you will find that our "Country-Time Kir" is a potent, multi-liquor, high quality cocktail complete with fresh juice squeezes and perfect garnishes throughout.

We are also sharing a second secret recipe: our home made Strawberry-Lemonade. As one might imagine, we use The O-Rig Tool whenever its needed to produce excellent juices and garnishes for our cocktails. In addition, we applaud and appreciate all of our fans who have wisely adopted The O-Rig BarBack Tool as their regular beverage service tool.

Here at the O.B.B. Company, we believe that those who are not embracing The BarBack for its seemingly endless common sense uses are missing an opportunity to become pioneers of their future industry or social circle.

Well, here is the first original recipe: the "Country-Time Kir".
As always, pour and garnish responsibly... and have fun.

For this recipe, please gather the following items:

  • An O-Rig BarBack Tool - or a peeler and a stirring spoon
  • Strawberry Lemonade, very cold (scroll to bottom to see our SECRET recipe)
  • 3-4 ounces of your favorite brand of prosecco
  • One champagne flute
  • Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
  • Aromatic bitters
  • One each, fresh whole orange and whole strawberry

The BarBack Guy's "Country-Time Kir" recipe:

*This cocktail is poured and floated into a chilled champagne flute.

1. Fill the glass about three quarters high with prosecco

2. Add 1/2 ounce of Chambord

3. Add 1 dash of aromatic bitters

4. Float 1 ounce of Strawberry Lemonade

5. Using your BarBack Tool's patented peeler, shave a nice ribbon of the orange peel directly over-top of the drink, then twist the peel and place on rim of glass. This will spray a lovely mist of the orange peel's oils over the surface which will enhance the aromatics and taste of the drink. 

9. Lastly, Use your BarBack Tool's patented garnish knife to slice a slit on the bottom of the strawberry and place decoratively on the rim of the glass.

10. The finished pour level should be an index finger's distance from the rim of glass.

The BarBack Tool Company's Strawberry Lemonade recipe:

  • 2 cups of diced fresh strawberries
  • 10 lemons, squeezed
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 8 cups (64 ounces) of water

  • Instructions:

    1. Add sugar, strawberries, lemon juice and water and place in a large pot pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, stir occasionally, and boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, still stirring occasionally.

    2. You can then pour the liquid through a fine screen strainer or collander to remove the fruit pulp. Pour into a pitcher and, chill in refrigerator then serve.

    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.


    Did you know?

    Stay tuned to OriginalBarBack.com for new recipes, stories, legends, history, "bar-lore" and more in our weekly blogs. Check out our Instagram page , YouTube channel and Facebook page for weekly posts, videos and our images of craft cocktails, beers, wines and spirits.

The BarBack Tool is the first of it's kind and the finest food & beverage multi tool out there. It was created with convenience in mind for anyone who prepares food or cocktails, and drinks any bottled beverages.

    See for yourself at The BarBack's Official Website!


    OriginalBarBack Tool Company, LLC, The BarBack Tool, O-Rig Bev Tool, TM, Copyright All Rights Reserved 2017

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