Champagne Drinks for New Year’s and the Nazi-Defying History of the Kir Royale Cocktail

December 30, 2020

Champagne Drinks for New Year’s and the Nazi-Defying History of the Kir Royale Cocktail


Champagne and sparkling wine have long been favorites at Glover Gardens. Straight or mixed, it’s hard to go wrong with the bubbly. The eve of New Year’s Eve is a great time to review champagne cocktail recipes to decide how to ring in a very welcome new year, and say goodbye to one that has worn out its welcome, don’t you think?

The Grill-Meister and I have celebrated many a New Year’s Eve with our own concoction of macerated raspberries, raspberry syrup, amaretto and champagne, although I’ve never documented the recipe beyond what you just read. Then a few years ago, I created the Pampas Grass champagne cocktail for my nieces, who were just over 21 and wanted a taste of a bubbly concoction.

We’re partial to the Kir family of sparkly drinks, with a particular preference for the version with Chambord, a French black raspberry liqueur. Using Chambord instead of the currant-flavored creme de cassis changes the name of the drink to a Kir Impérial, or French Kir Royale, or Chambord Kir Royale. That’s a lot of names for a single drink, but whatever you call it, it’s delicious!

From VinePair: “The Kir and Kir Royale cocktail recipes combine wine with creme de cassis liqueur such as Chambord or Lejay — and have a spirited past rooted in resistance. Learn the cocktails’ history and how to make a classic Kir Royale.”

The Kir cocktails have a rich history, too, which I learned from a VinePair article last year: The Nazi-Defying History of the Kir Royale Cocktail. According to the article, a Catholic priest named Felix Kir who was also a member of the French Resistance created the drink after the Nazis confiscated all of the red wine. The tale goes that he added cassis to the white wine that was left to recreate the red color of the stolen burgundy. Perhaps more importantly, he also helped 4,000 prisoners of war escape.

Just in time for New Year’s this year, Food Network Magazine published some cool recipes in Break Out the Bubbly: Sparkling Wine Cocktail Ideas.

Sparkling wine is the ultimate start to a fun, festive cocktail. Try these ideas from Food Network Magazine.



On a (more) personal note, we’ll be drinking a champagne toast tonight to celebrate the life of Ruth Violet Hiatt Holt tonight. My grandmother died in the wee hours last night, after more than 100 years of a vibrant life. (This post was already drafted, and you’ll hear more about her in the coming days.)

Stay safe as you say farewell to the old year and ring in the new, my friends.

© 2020, Glover Gardens

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