Christmas Royale Cocktail
This Christmas Royale Cocktail is a festive twist on a classic: combine champagne with sloe gin or a blackberry and winter spice gin!
Classic French cocktails
If you’ve ever enjoyed an aperitif in a French hotel, bar or restaurant you’ve probably been served one of two blackcurrant and wine cocktails. The first is the Kir (a mix of white wine and crème de cassis), the second is the Kir Royale (a mix of champagne and crème de cassis).
The invention of both drinks is credited to a famous priest called Félix Kir who was part of the French Resistance during the Second World War, and later the Mayor of the town Dijon. The history books tell us that he created the drinks as a celebration of local produce (the wine and the blackcurrant liqueur) which were made nearby.
Making these classic French cocktails are incredibly easy as the crème de cassis is heavier than the wine or champagne. As a result, the sweet, fruity liqueur sits near the bottom of the glass creating a slight sunset effect when you carefully pour over the wine or champagne. It’s both pretty and delicious!
There are lots of variations to the original recipe. If you don’t want to use champagne you can swap it out for another sparkling wine. English sparkling wines are a great alternative (Camel Valley and Forty Hall are two of my favourite English Vineyards who make fantastic sparkling wines). You could also use a Spanish Cava or Italian Prosecco.
Crème de Cassis is a blackcurrant liqueur. It’s sweet, but not too sweet when paired with a dry sparkling wine. Other classic variations include using crème de framboise or Chambord (raspberry liqueur) or even crème de pêche (peach liqueur). The mimosa and bucks fizz are of the same cocktail family but are a little less boozy as they use fresh orange juice instead.
My Christmas Royale cocktail still uses champagne (it is Christmas after all) but swaps the crème de Cassis for a seasonal gin liqueur. Sloe gin works perfectly. If you’ve not tried sloe gin before it has a complex flavour with notes of plum, raisin and even almond! Another alternative is a gin liqueur flavoured with winter berries and festive spices like the Blackberry & Winter Spice Gin from New Town Gin of Wharf Distillery.
I was given the gin as a gift though I was under no obligation to give it a mention or a good review! I just thought it was a fun addition to this Christmas cocktail.
I like to serve my Christmas Royale in a champagne flute but a coupe glass works just as well. The choice is yours! Why not add some fresh berries or even a sprig of rosemary to garnish.
- 50 millilitres sloe gin or blackberry and winter spice gin
- 125 millilitres Champagne chilled
- Pour the sloe gin into a glass.
- Slowly pour the champagne over the gin.
- (Optional) garnish with a blackberry or spring of rosemary to serve.
More Christmas Cocktails
If you like my Christmas Royale Cocktail, you’ll love these other sparkling wine and gin based cocktails! As always, make sure you drink responsibly.