Now's the time to start collecting recipes for beverages for the sultry summer days coming up. A delicious one is made with sirop de cassis, a syrup made of black currants, mixed with sparkling or soda water.
Fruit syrups are usually found in specialty food stores, and there are several bottlers with black currant syrup. Prices range from $3.50 up.
One from West Germany, Lehr's, is called a black current beverage. It has added sugar.
An English company, Ribena, has a concentrate called a black currrant drink, and there's a Bavarian one, also called black currant syrup.
A Swiss company, Hero, labels its black currant syrup as such, with the added word cassis.
Cassis is the French word for black currant, and it is also given to wines made around the town of Cassis in Provence, a region along the Mediterranean coast. So be sure to purchase the plain black currant syrup, with nothing added to it but sugar.
The drink is adapted from the favorite refreshment of a French country priest , Pere Kir, who was a patriot during World War II and later mayor of Dijon.
To make it, simply mix 5 parts soda water to 1 part cassis syrup. Use chilled soda water or serve with ice.