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Fans of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries may recall that the French detective had a sweet tooth, even when it came to drinks, and was partial to Crème de Menthe and Sirop de cassis.

Although this apéritif of summer berries contains the concentrated blackcurrant flavor Poirot loved, it is in the form of the liqueur, Crème de cassis, instead of the nonalcoholic fruit syrup.  And perhaps, if offered a Cocktail Cassis Fruits des bois, the great Poirot would have requested a few spoonfuls of sugar in his glass, for the sweetness in this drink is not very pronounced.

Cocktail Cassis Fruits des bois (for almost 1 liter (4 cups), or about enough for 8 drinks)

Note: To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF. You will have the option of printing in smaller text size and without photos.

Ingredients:  Measurements are given in metric units and the closest American equivalents.

  • 300 grams (10 ounces) of frozen Fruits des bois:  The terms ‘Fruits des bois’ (fruits of the forest) and ‘Fruits rouges’ (red fruits) are interchangeable.  You may find either label on a package of these mixed fruits.  Many different varieties are included in the list of berries classified as ‘fruits de bois’:  blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, red and black currants–to name a few.  The pictured drink is made from a mixture of frozen red and blackcurrants, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.  Any combination which includes currants will make a similar, good drink.   Using only a couple of different berries from packs of single frozen fruits would also work well–for example, mixing frozen redcurrants and frozen blackberries.
  • 350 milliliters of dry White Wine, chilled (1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 350 milliliters of dry Champagne, chilled–or any dry sparkling White Wine (1 and 1/2 cups).  Given the cost of Champagne, the dk recommends using a dry sparkling white wine for this mixed drink.
  • 100 milliliters of Crème de cassis (1/3 cup)
  • Optional Decoration:  sprigs of fresh Mint


  • a Blender or a Food Processor
  • a Large Pitcher and a Whisk
  • a Large Bowl
  • a Large Strainer
  • a Wooden Spoon, or any large spoon or stiff Spatula

1.  Place a strainer over a large bowl and fill the strainer with the frozen fruit.  Thaw the fruit, collecting the juices that drip from them in the bowl.

2.  Place the fruit and juices in a blender or processor.  Set the bowl and strainer aside to use again momentarily, and purée the berries.  If you are using a blender, after transferring the fruit purée back to the strainer, rinse the container and set it aside to mix the cocktail in later.  (While a processor purées the berries just fine, it may not process the quantity of liquid required for this cocktail without leaking.)

3.  Pour the berry purée back into the large strainer and strain the purée into the bowl below it by stirring it through the holes of the strainer with a spoon or spatula.

4.  Put the strained purée back in the blender.  Add the white wine and Champagne or sparkling wine and blend everything together.  Alternatively, whisk together the berry purée and both wines in a pitcher or a bowl.

5.  Pour the cocktail into glasses, decorate with sprigs of mint if you like, and serve.

A Note:  Cocktail Cassis Fruits des bois is served with the savoury second half of the Occasional Menu:  Hungarian ‘Ten O’Clocks’ ~ a Tizórai.

An Acknowledgement:  Cocktail Cassis Fruits des bois is adapted from a recipe for a fresh redcurrant cocktail, Cassiskaland, in the Hungarian cooking journal Konyha Magazin (July-August 2001).

© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012