During several episodes of "French in Action" the leading characters Robert and Mirielle are at a cafe drinking Kir. For the longest time I had assumed that Kir was a brand name for a French liqueur because the waiter in the episode also mentions Dubonnet when listing, at Mirelle's request "typical French" offerings. I know Dubonnet is a brand thanks to the many classic French posters associated with it.
But it turns out that Kir is the name of a cocktail that combines one part creme de cassis (black currants) and four parts dry white wine - or in the case of Kir Royal, the white wine is swapped out for champagne.
I finally got around to buying creme de cassis and trying it out. I'm actually not that crazy about it, I find the creme de cassis is a little bitter for my taste. I'm really not a cocktail person, I prefer my alcohol to be unmixed. Although it looks pretty, the diluted creme de cassis: it comes out of the bottle as a thick syrup but becomes a light crimson when mixed with the white wine. But really, I felt like I just ruined a perfectly good class of Sauvignon Blanc. Well at least I gave it a try.
But now I have a $26 bottle of creme de cassis that I really don't have any use for.
Luckily it turns out the NYTimes has a bunch of recipes for Creme de Cassis.