Once upon a time I was at a little hipster coffee house with Donnie seeing a show and they had a very short specialty mixed drink menu. I am a sucker for house specialty mixed drinks because sometimes they are the best part of a meal. My favorite so far has been the grapefruit and jalapeno martini, aptly named Cool Heat, that I had with Laura at Watershed. I salivate over memories of it. Anyway, this night I had a drink that contained white wine, St Germain, and a couple of other minor ingredients. It was delicious and the intrigue of mixed drinks containing wine was born. Being the Francophile and wine lover that I am I chose a classic French mixed drink this time: The Kir.
A Kir is an aperitif, which is an alcoholic drink enjoyed before a meal. I find the idea of an aperitifs and digestifs so romantic and sophisticated that I am considering indulging in them more often. In the United States the social more is that the consumption of alcohol is typically reserved for sporting events, special occasions, and college. In copious amounts; otherwise, not at all. This is probably due in combination to our post-Prohibition era and religious indoctrination, especially in the Bible Belt where I am from. In Europe it is just a part of the meal like appetizers and dessert.
|Blackcurrants via Wikimedia Commons.|
|The Burgundy region of France via Wikimedia Commons.|
|I chose this Creme de Cassis because I thought it looked a little more artisenal that your typical Dekuyper. Are you sensing a disconnect in this pairing? An expensive liqueur and a cheap wine. I'll admit that I can tell very little difference between a cheap wine and a top shelf supermarket wine. They're all good as long as they aren't Turning Leaf.|
|The label Up Close.|
1. Pour a small amount of creme de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) into the bottom of a wine glass.
2. Top with white wine.
The verdict: No wonder one is supposed to use a dry white wine! Blackcurrant liqueur is hella sweet. This article calls creme de cassis "jammy" and that it spot on. Donnie thought this drink was too sweet, but I thought it was refreshing as long as one did not overdo it on the liqueur. And it feels like a festive, celebratory summer drink, like it should be drunk* at picnics or, dare I say, Independence Day gatherings. Undoubtedly my impression of this drink was influenced by my new found knowledge of its history. I drank it for a few days before I tired of it, so I'll probably enjoy it every now and again.
*My inclination here was to type "to be drank," but then I wasn't sure if that was correct. Lo and behold it was not. Drank is the past tense of Drink and nothing else. The passive infinitive of Drink is to be Drunk. In some dialects (read: my dialect) Drank is commonly used this way, but it is still incorrect. If you are wondering, as I was, what a Southern dialect is officially called by linguists: General Southern matches the borders of southern states that seceded during the Civil War. The fact that the South is still pretty linguistically definitive is interesting to me and the theory is that we tended to not move around much on account of our agricultural heritage. The manufacturing and prospecting histories of other US regions have caused them to become more linguistically homogeneous. My specific region is Southern Coastal. Yes, we do say catty-corner.
**This Wikipedia article on Southern American English kind of blew my mind. It is ALL true and even though I consider myself to be grammatically correct most of the time, I did not know that all these dialectical uses were not correct. Like Dove for past tense of Dive and Drug for the past tense of Drag. I use these but the correct terms are Dived and Dragged. Noted.