THE ADVENT CALENDAR OF ALCOHOL – December 16th (15-16%): Creme De Cassis
When I was a kid ‘ continuing our accidental theme of children and booze ‘ there were certain drinks I thought would be sophisticated and adult. Usually I thought this because my parents drank them. In many ways my parents were sophisticated but I think they were fairly typical 70s social drinkers, and that meant my associating adulthood with things like Dubonnet.
But there was one drink whose sophistication I had worked out for myself, since my first ever holiday in France. That drink was Cassis. I think it was one of my aunts who was drinking it ‘ I asked what it was, and was told it was like Ribena, only it was a liqueur. I decided then and there that just as Ribena was my favourite drink, so Cassis would be my favourite when I grew up.
Even now I have drunk Cassis as an adult something of its allure remains ‘ a rich liqueur with a French name made with blackcurrants; winner, surely! Unfortunately what my aunt did not mention was that Cassis actually tastes like undiluted Ribena with a dash of Tixylix. Even in cocktails it tends to be overpowering ‘ it’s best used in the naff but very tasty Kir Royale. But still I am rarely without a bottle in the home ‘ it’s a magical reminder for me of when the drinks cabinet was a scary, exciting, baffling world which I would one day enter. Sophisticated, though? My arse it is.