Communard, a surprising apéritif from Beaujolais

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Add 5 parts well-chilled red Beaujolais wine to 1 part Crème de Cassis in a wine glass, swirl a bit, and your Communard is ready.


A Communard is a surprising aperitif from the Beaujolais where the fresh aromas of cherries in the wine are enhanced by the Crème de Cassis – from L’Héritier Guyot of Dijon, of course.

Perfect as an aperitif – it is reminiscent of Port, but more light-bodied – or as an accompaniment to the cheese board, especially with some creamy cheeses (Brillat Savarin) or slightly spicy cheeses (Persillé du Beaujolais), after dinner.

A Communard is a Kir based on a red wine made from the Gamay grape (Beaujolais). In Burgundy, this cocktail is called a Cardinal, but based on the Pinot Noir grape. Unlike Kir, whose namesake was Félix Kir, a canon from Dijon, the origin of Communard’s name is unknown.


The Kir was created in Dijon only in the last century to “clean up” the overproduction of the white wine of Burgundy Aligoté. Crème de Cassis, also from Dijon, matched excellently with sometimes yet somewhat acidic taste of the white wine. Originally, the ratio was 1/3 Crème de Cassis and 2/3 Aligoté.

A Kir Royal is also based on the blackcurrant liqueur, but with Crémant de Bourgogne, or completely luxurious, with Champagne. But take it from me that any fresh, dry white bubble, such as a Clairette de Die, will do just fine. Even with Cider you drink a pleasant, surprising aperitif.

Recipe Communard


  • 1 part Crème de Cassis (20 ml)
  • 5 parts well-chilled Beaujolais (100 ml)


  • Fill a wine glass with the Crème de Cassis
  • Add the wine
  • Roll the glass to mix the liquids

Serve immediately. And in the summer, put in a big lump of ice cream. But then with some extra Crème de Cassis in it.

Accords mets – wine-food combos

Communard is somewhat similar to Port but is fresher, with a bit more red fruit aromas. And with a pleasant bonus: a little less alcohol. The fresh acidity in the wine and the sweetness of the Crème de Cassis make the Communard broadly useful with appetizers.

Creamy cow’s milk cheeses (Brillat-Savarin), slightly spicy goat’s cheeses (Charolais), aged hard cheeses (Comté, Tomme) or something similar. For sausage and ham, the options are also many. Chorizo, salami, saucisson sec, serrano ham, jambon cru, I could go on and on.

Appetizers that are slightly salty (savory) or spicy, Communard goes well with those. And for the fun: experiment a bit because there is still so much tasty stuff to discover.

Should it all be a bit too complicated, the cozy restaurant Le côte de Brouilly in Odenas has a perfect Communard; based on a Beaujolais-Villages.

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