The Kir Royale (or Royal, if you prefer) is the kind of swanky fizz that could have been conjured up by some posh hotel barkeep trying to impress a well-heeled customer. In fact, its backstory is much more thrilling than that.
It’s kind of a funny thing, the way Champagne cocktails are considered all girly and twee these days. Back when they were originally invented — arguably a harder-drinking era than our own — they were enjoyed by tough guys and sophisticates alike, and so lauded for their powerful kick, they were named for military weapons.
Today, though, you have celebrated bartenders such as Portland’s Jeffrey Morgenthaler tweeting: “Only old ladies and hookers drink Champagne cocktails.”