It's hard to say why this early-20th-century cocktail is named after the city in Belgium, considering it calls for an Alpine cherry brandy (kirsch or kirschwasser) and a black currant liqueur from Dijon, France.
In any case, this is far superior to the well-known kir royale, made with creme de cassis alone. The original calls for club soda, but this "royale" version calls for sparkling wine, preferably champagne or Cremant de Bourgogne. Though it's tempting to simply pour the spirits directly into the glass and stir, shaking creates a more appealing and less cloying drink.
- 1 ounce kirschwasser
- 1 ounce creme de cassis
- Chilled sparkling wine
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the kirschwasser and creme de cassis; shake well, then strain into an ice-filled highball or Collins glass.
Top with about 3 ounces of sparkling wine, or as needed.
From Spirits columnist Jason Wilson.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.