Champagne and Creme de Cassis Aperitifs

by Jenn on February 6, 2010

in Beverages,Gluten Free,Wine

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Aperitifs seem to be pretty popular here, and almost every time I have gone out to eat, we socialize and drink from the cocktail menu before ever thinking about ordering food.  It’s a type of restauranting that is very different from what I am accustomed to in the States.  For one, I have yet to see a sit-down chain restaurant here, and two, no dinner has been under two hours yet, even at the most casual of places.  Contrast that with my myriad experiences in large national chain restaurants in the States, where everything is so rushed that before you even realize it, you are out the door and never really had a chance to think about what your food tasted like.  All of a sudden you realize that you’ve really missed being able to take time to actually enjoy food and the company around you.  Going out to eat can be more than just a way to grab some grub because you don’t want to cook, it can be an experience all in of itself.

Part of that experience has often started with aperitifs, a nice taste to sip on while you start to become tantalized by the beckoning aromas wafting from the kitchen.  One of my favorite drinks that I have had here is a combination of champagne and crème de cassis, a sweet blackcurrant liqueur.  I have a penchant for champagne-based cocktails, mainly because I love how the fizz laughs and dances on my nose every time I lift the glass to my lips.  A dry champagne helps temper the almost sickly sweet of the cassis, and the addition of a little bit of peach nectar really rounds out this drink as well.

Luckily, these drinks are super easy to make at home, and serving drinks with little bites before a meal can help create a social atmosphere for visiting with family and friends.  After all, while eating and tasting delicious food is well and good, it is the memories that we make with each other that we really cherish.  Sometimes it’s better to not focus solely on getting a meal out.  Delay the food for a bit, and enjoy spending a bit of time with each other.

Ideally one would serve these in cute champagne flutes.  We don’t own any yet, please bear with us as we navigate home and kitchen shopping in a language we really need to learn more of quickly!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy February 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Kir Royale! We had these in France a few years ago and started having them at family holidays. Yum.

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Jenn February 6, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Ah yes, thanks! I was trying to remember the name!

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Valérie February 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Yep, that’s a Kir Royal, all right! And it’s one of my favourite apéritifs ever!

I usually make regular Kir with white wine, and I like to very slowly pour the crème de cassis along the side of the glass. That way, all the cassis falls at the bottom of the glass, for a pretty layer-effect. You eventually need to swirl it to make the flavours blend, but it makes for good presentation when serving. However, I don’t know if the effect is the same with champagne – because of the bubbles.

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Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite February 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm

This is my favourite apéro of all time. Could drink it every day. Come to think of it, when I lived in France, I nearly did!

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