Crème de cassis

Crème de cassis (pronounced [kʁɛm də kasis]) (also known as Cassis liqueur) is a sweet, dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants.[1]

Crème de cassis
Crème de cassis bottled at 15% ABV.
Country of originFrance (Burgundy)
Alcohol by volume15%
ColourDark red

Several cocktails are made with crème de cassis, including the very popular wine cocktail, kir.[2]

It may also be served as an after-dinner liqueur or as a frappé.


It is made from blackcurrants that are crushed and soaked in alcohol, with sugar subsequently added.

Origin and production

The modern version of the beverage first appeared in 1841, when it displaced "ratafia de cassis", which had been produced in prior centuries.

While crème de cassis is a specialty of Burgundy, it is also made in Anjou,[3] England,[4] Luxembourg, Alberta, Quebec and Tasmania.[5]

The quality of crème de cassis depends upon the variety of fruit used, the content of the berries, and the production process. If it is labelled "Crème de Cassis de Dijon", one is guaranteed berries from the commune of Dijon.

In 2015, the new protected geographical indication (PGI) “Crème de Cassis de Bourgogne” was approved. Promoted by a syndicate of fruit producers and liqueurs companies from Burgundy, this "Crème de Cassis de Bourgogne" guarantees the Burgundian origin and the minimum quantity of berries used in its production, essentially the variety Noir de Bourgogne.


Nearly 16 million litres of crème de cassis are produced annually in France.[6] It is consumed mostly in France but is also exported.

In the movie At War with the Army, while in drag to sneak off base, Jerry Lewis orders this at the bar, to the surprise of the bartender. It is a favourite drink of the fictional detective Hercule Poirot.[7][8][9]

The Japanese rock band Learners does a song called "Cassis Oolong," which is a drink combining creme de cassis and oolong tea.

In season 2 episode 20 of The Simpsons, "The War of the Simpsons", Ned Flanders uses a "dab-er-oo" of Crème de cassis in his signature cocktail "Flanders Planter's Punch" along with three shots of rum and a jigger of bourbon.


  1. Duplais, Pierre & Duplais, Pierre, Jr. (trans. by M. McKennie) (1871) A Treatise on the Manufacture and Distillation of Alcoholic Liquors. Philadelphia: Henry Carey Baird. page 518.
  2. Marianski, Stanley & Marianski, Adam (2012) Home Production of Vodkas, Infusions & Liqueurs. Seminole, FL: Bookmagic LLC. page 265. ISBN 9780983697343.
  3. "Crème de Cassis d'Anjou at". Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  4. British Cassis
  5. Wines & Ports, Hartzview Vineyard, Tasmania
  6. La crème de cassis
  7. Agatha Christie, Dead Man's Mirror, 1986, page 184.
  8. Agatha Christie, The Clocks, 1963, page 145.
  9. Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot's Casebook, 1984, page 320.
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