The classic Kir Royale, an elegant Champagne cocktail made with creme de cassis (a sweet garnet-colored liqueur made from blackcurrants) gets the holiday treatment thanks to a double dose of cranberries. Tart cranberry juice balances the sweetness of the liqueur, and a garnish of fresh cranberries rolled in sugar gives each Champagne flute or coupe a frosted, festive look.
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 12 fresh cranberries, rinsed
- 2 ounces creme de cassis, chilled
- 2 ounces cranberry juice, chilled
- 1 750-ml bottle Champagne, chilled
Make a simple syrup by combining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Simmer, stirring, until sugar has dissolved and syrup turns clear. Remove from the heat, and let cool.
Add cranberries to the simple syrup, stir to coat, and transfer berries to a plate using a slotted spoon. Reserve remaining simple syrup for another use.
Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll each cranberry in sugar until completely coated, and transfer to a clean plate to set. Thread 3 cranberries each onto 4 cocktail picks, small skewers, or toothpicks, and reserve for garnish.
Add 1/2 ounce creme de cassis and 1/2 ounce cranberry juice each to 4 Champagne flutes or coupes. Divide the Champagne among the 4 glasses, garnish each glass with a cranberry cocktail pick, and serve.