This one falls in the category of ‘Why didn’t I think of it before?’ I love the idea of sloe gin, a liqueur made by macerating sloes (small, sour, wild plums that grow on blackthorn bushes) in gin and sugar, especially since I learned how to make it with the sloes I can gather from the blackthorn bushes on the cliff that looms over the Cancale harbor. But I’m not all that keen on sloe gin fizzes, because I’m not all that keen on super-sweet cocktails in general. And so, my bottles of homemade sloe gin have languished in my cupboard until I had the idea to try them in a kir royal. And lo! The subtly complex flavor of sloes added a new dimension to the classic French aperitif, the sparkling wine provided the fizz, and there was no need for lemon, simple syrup, or a shaker of ice cubes (all called for in a sloe gin fizz). Sloe gin is also very good in a classic kir with white. In fact sloe gin kirs (classic or royal) so good and so simple that I now worry my stash of sloe gin won’t last until the spring when the next batch is ready. (Of course, I could always just buy some…)

Sloe Gin Kir Royal

1 oz. sloe gin
4 oz. chilled sparkling wine or white wine

Pour the sloe gin in the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill the glass with sparkling wine, and serve immediately.