You might not think that Cassis deserves its very own museum but if you ever go to Burgundy, you’ll realise that the blackcurrant liqueur is a star in this region and the Burgundians adore it! Actually it’s a favourite througout France and one of the most popular aperitifs in the country, Kir, uses Cassis.
Cassis has been around since the 12th Century but it really became fashionable in the 18th century and in Burgundy, drinking Cassis is as normal as drinking wine.
At Cassisium, the museum of Cassis in Nuits St Georges, the moment you walk through the door for your tour you will feel as though you’ve been transported into a giant bubble full of blackcurrant, the main ingredient of Cassis. The scent is powerful and utterly luscious.
They’ve got Cassis making down to a fine art here and make several types including a memorable “Super Cassis” with a rich, intense flavour that you will find easily becomes your favourite.
There are giant vats full of fruit, not just blackcurrant, they make strawberry liqueur here too. They pride themselves on making the best of all of the fruit, the skins are not wasted but added to animal food – once the alcoholic content has evaporated of course.
It’s a fun visit but the best part for me was the tasting bar where I learned about the art of mixing Cassis.
Kir Royale – Cassis and Champagne
Kir Petillante – Cassis and sparkling wine
Kir Communard – Cassis and re wine, named after the red flag of the Paris Commune
Kir – Cassis and white wine
By the way, the mix of Cassis and wines takes the name Kir from Felix Kir, a mayor of Dijon who regularly served the delicious drink.
“Burgundian Herbal Tea” is a drop of crème de cassis, a drop of lemon and hot water in a mug “You’ll sleep like a baby” I was told.
There’s a fabulous shop at Cassisium with all manner of Cassis goodies – a great souvenir to take home as a reminder of your visit and a delicious taste of Burgundy.