| Sheila Howell

C'est l'Heure de l'Apéritif: Kir

C'est l'Heure de l'Apéritif: Living With AntiquesAs any true Francophile knows, l'heure de l'apéritif (or l'apero)- cocktail time - is that magical time of day when its time to put aside the day's work and prepare for the evening ahead. 

Whether a simple glass of wine, a delightful coupe or a more elaborate mixed drink, l'apero is the traditional French custom to transition from day to evening.

After a hard day scouring the countryside for antiques, I look forward to hearing from my waiter,  Désirez-vous un apéritif?  

Oui! Bien sûr! Depending on where I am, I may order a local wine or aperitif such as pastis, Suze or Lillet. More often, I celebrate the day's finds with a kir. Named after Félix Kir, the mayor of Dijon in the 1940s who popularized a locally well-known wartime drink in which a splash of Dijon's crème de cassis, a syrupy Burgundy black currant liqueur, was used to cover up the taste of inferior wartime white wine. 

Kir RoyaleAt home in the US, when ordering a kir you will typically be served what the French call a kir royale: crème de cassis topped with champagne. Typically served in a flute glass, often with a twist or a few red berries. 

Kir - or kir royale - is a lovely drink to serve to guests in your home. Requiring only 2 ingredients, I find it extra special when served in vintage champagne or wine glasses. You can use your finest French champagne, or substitute a dry sparkling wine, Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy. If you are serving a classic kir, use a dry white wine.
Kir Recipe
  • 3 oz white wine
  • 1/3 oz crème de cassis
Add the crème de cassis to the bottom of the glass, then top up with wine. Garnish with a lemon twist or red berries (optional).


Pictured Above:
Early 19th Century Marble Top Oval Side Table set for l'heure de l'apéritif.

European Finds has beautiful antique furniture styles from France, Italy, England, Belgium and Holland - our selection includes gorgeous European antiques from every corner of the Continent. Some are extremely rare, others less so, but all are historic, authentic survivors from a bygone era, and will make lovely additions to your home or office. 

Note: Our inventory is always changing, so be sure to check back frequently for our latest additions! 

Contact: customerservice@europeanfinds.com