Kongens Kir

A Kir cocktail fit for Danish royalty

Kir Royal received its name when champagne was added instead of white wine to the classic Kir cocktail. Surely, champagne was and is to some extent still considered as the preferred extravagant golden drops of the rich and powerful. But is the two-ingredient simplicity adequate for Danish royalty?

From 9th April 1940 until 5th May 1945, Nazi Germany occupied Denmark. In spite of this, King Christian X, the paternal grandfather of the reigning Queen Margarethe II, continued his daily horse rides through Copenhagen, unaccompanied by guards. In doing so, he became a symbol of Danish resistance and independence; a figure of hope to look to in dark times.

Kongens Kir (meaning Kir of the King), one of the latest Spring/Summer creations from the new menu at Kester Thomas, is not meant as an ode to the late King. Yet, in its presentation and exquisitely well-balanced blend of refined Danish ingredients and high-quality French Champagne, it manages to present itself in the same manner of elevated virtue. During the war, Germany seized 80 percent of France’s champagne for themselves, cutting off supplies to the rest of the world for five years. As the occupation came to an end, the famous bubbles once again traversed the borders to end up in palaces across Europe. Had Kongens Kir been mixed at the time, it may very well have been King Christian X’s preferred choice of cheer to the liberation.

20ml Vi.Er.Akvavit

10ml Meyer’s Plum Balsamic Vinegar

Top with Piot-Sévillano Demi-Sec Champagne

Drop a Maraschino cherry into your preferred style of champagne flute. Add aquavit and plum balsamic vinegar to the glass, and slowly top with demi-sec champagne.

What first hits you is the floral perfume of the demi-sec champagne. Whilst most may find demi-sec champagne too sweet on its own, in cocktails such as this, it means no extra sugar needs adding for balance. The natural sugars mellow out and don’t leave a synthetic aftertaste lingering on the back. As the first sip bubbles its way down, caraway spice and late summer sweetness unfold.

The cask-aged plum balsamic vinegar from Meyer adds the familiar hue of a classic Kir, along with greater depth to the flavour experience. The botanicals of the aquavit tip-toes through the dry sweetness to add a kind bite of spice on the back of the tongue. What you are left with is a slow-sipping, yet pleasant Danish aperitif, fit for a King.

For more inspiration on champagne cocktails, check out the Garden of Eden or the Old French. And if champagne is not your cup of coffee, try peeking into the new menu at Ruby. Enjoy the weekend and let us know how you’re spending it on Facebook or Instagram.

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Miriam Gradel
Much like the case of the chicken and the egg, I've never really been sure whether I started as a journalist or as a bartender. However, one thing's for sure: both require whiskey!