La vie est belle !

K is for Kir



My theme – “26 Things I’d Like To See During Our Trip To France”


 K is for “Kir” 

What is this? Qu’est-ce que c’est ?

First of all, there are just not very many French words/places/things which begin with “K”. Sorry. Luckily there are a few, and one of them comes from Dijon, where I am already sure we will go. So for “K” I am back to Dijon. Now, my husband and I  are not really “apéritif” people, generally speaking, but there is something special about experiencing a thing in the place where it originated. For instance, when we went to Buffalo, NY, we did indeed go to the famous “Anchor Bar” and eat “Buffalo” wings. And we tried the Guinness in Ireland. (You know, so they wouldn’t kick us out of the country, much less the pub! 😉 ) So since we will go to Dijon, I think at least once while we are there, an “aperitif” is in our future.

So Qu’est-ce que c’est?  A Kir is a cocktail made with Crème de Cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur made in Dijon, and a white Burgundy wine, commonly white Burgundy Alicoté wine.  If you have Champagne instead of the wine, then you have a Kir Royal. It is named for Félix Kir, who was mayor of Dijon from just after WWII until the late 60’s. He was known to have served the drink to his VIP guests.

Kir et gougères

“Kir et gougères” By Arnaud 25 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Where is it? Où est-ce?  

I will need to do a little research to figure out which restaurant to visit in Dijon to properly enjoy a Kir apéritif, which the Almighty Internet assures me is traditionally served with les gougères (Little puffs of cheesy goodness, also a specialty of Bourgogne.) Perhaps one of my cher lecteurs can guide me on this one.

Why do I want to go there? Pourquoi est-ce que je veux y aller ?

Certain things are just quintessentially “French.”  In reading novels or watching movies, I just hear certain words and think “Oh…so French!” Kir is one of those things. It has a glamorous “old movie” feel about it for me, it is one of those cocktails which kind of belongs to a bygone era, at least in my little pea-brain. You know, in order for it to properly be called Kir, it must be made with Lejay-Lagoute Crème de Cassis, otherwise you have a “Blanc-Cassis.”    I’ve heard that this really makes a huge difference. I’m certainly no cocktail connaisseur, and to be honest, I’ve never had a Kir  or even a “Blanc-cassis”, so I will certainly not have a comparison. In any case, I figure it would be sort of a shame to go to Dijon and not try this, because if it’s going to be the only one I ever have, I’d like for it to be the original 🙂 Who knows, maybe it will make me glamorous ?! (“Quelle idée” says the nerdy girl, smirking in disbelief at the idea. BTW I think that “quelle idée” in this context just might be French for “As IF!” )

And you, dear A to Z-ers?  Et vous ?

Have you tried this drink? Did you like it? If so, are you more glamorous now than you were before? Dites-moi ! 

12 Responses to “K is for Kir”

  1. Sammy D.

    Oui, Oui et deux thumbs up for Kir Royal.

    Not in years, but used to sip these quite regularly (co-owned a restaurant decades ago, so tasted all kinds of aperitifs, and had particular fondness for champagne a la cassis). I couldn’t possibly have been glamorous, though, because I did not know the storied French origin. Quelle dommage.


  2. wawoman

    I memorably had a Kir royal the night that my husband proposed… although that was in Tel Aviv so maybe it doesn’t quite count! You’d sold me on Dijon with your D post… Today you’ve made the need to go there all the more urgent!


  3. Celine Jeanjean

    Oh, I wrote a reply before, but something went wrong and it seems to have gotten lost in the ether of the internet.

    I was saying that I LOVE Kir Royal, it’s delicious! Possibly one of my favourite apperitifs 🙂 Are you going to try and bring a bottle of creme de cassis back with you? You should, it’s a lovely thing to have a little Kir before lunch, especially on a sunny day….

    Oh and gougeres are delicious too – didn’t realise though that they were traditionally served together. Nor did I know about the history of the Kir, always interesting to learn new stuff!

    I can’t remember if I asked you already – when is your trip to France again?


    • jetgirlcos

      With all the comments I am definitely researching the logistics of bringing one back! We’ll be going in the fall…en septembre 🙂


  4. halleygentil

    “I just hear certain words and think “Oh…so French!” Kir is one of those things.”

    That is EXACTLY what I thought when I read your title! 🙂



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