While the traditional French kir royale is made by mixing dry sparkling wine with black currant liqueur (cassis), in France you’ll see it replicated with other fruit liqueurs as well, such as blackberry or peach. When the concept heads north to applegrowing country in Normandy, the tweak may be to replace the sparkling wine with sparkling hard cider for a variation that’s perfectly suited to our Northwest region as well. This ratio is a starting point: some prefer the liqueur accent to be subtle, others like the fruit element to be more pronounced. Feel free to amend the proportions to suit your preference.
serves 4 | start to finish: 5 minutes
2 tablespoons berry liqueur or cassis
2 tablespoons pear or apple brandy (optional)
20 to 24 ounces well-chilled dry sparkling hard pear or apple cider
Thin pear or apple slices, for garnish
Into each of 4 wine glasses, pour 1 1/2 teaspoons of berry liqueur and 1 1/2 teaspoons brandy (if using). Slowly pour the sparkling cider into the glasses, beginning first to one side of the glass then moving toward the center, which helps naturally blend the ingredients as you pour.
Cut a shallow slit in the side of four pear slices and perch one on the side of each glass. Serve right away.