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One sip of a Kirsch Rose Cocktail and you’ll feel like you’re in Paris! Sweet, aromatic, and feminine, this vintage-style shaken cocktail is perfect for classy parties and small get-togethers.
A classy, sweeter cocktail for you and your friends
It’s your turn to host the party, which means plenty of drink options! Some friends like aromatic, slightly bitter cocktails (I’m looking at you, Negroni lovers) and others prefer drinks on the sweeter side. This Kirsch Rose Cocktail is for them!
This Parisian rose cocktail is made with 3 simple ingredients that are always welcome on your bar cart:
This combination leaves you with a cocktail that features sweet, floral, citrus, and cherry flavors. There’s a slight bite in each sip but the cherry from the kirsch and sweet grenadine balance it out. Pair this vintage-style cocktail with Baked Goat Cheese Balls, Cranberry Brie Crostinis, and Parmesan Toasts and enjoy the party!
The history of rose cocktails
Rose cocktails are inherently French, romantic, and feminine (although everyone is welcome to a glass). Invented during the roaring 20s, the very Parisian flavors come from a blend of kirsch, dry vermouth, and sweet simple syrup or grenadine. Although there is no rosewater or flower petals in the actual drink, the effervescence and color are still very rose-like.
Inspired by the original rose cocktail
Just like my Seventh Heaven and Abbey cocktails, this rose cocktail recipe was born out of inspiration from The Savoy Cocktail Book. It’s my favorite cocktail book that’s full of old school recipes!
Originally named French Style Rose Cocktail No. 3, this rose cocktail is similar to a handful of other Parisian cocktails in the book. The English Rose Cocktail, French Style Rose Cocktail No. 1, and French Style Rose Cocktail No. 2 are all made with different blends of cherry brandy, kirsch, gin, grenadine, and vermouth, which capture very French flavors in every sip.
Kirsch cocktail ingredients
This kirschwasser cocktail is made with just 3 easy ingredients! When you’re done, keep the bottles on your bar cart so you can enjoy a rose cocktail at all kinds of parties and get-togethers:
Kirschwasser (AKA kirsch), meaning “cherry water” in German, is distilled from cherries. It’s an unsweetened clear brandy with a strong cherry flavor, a fragrant fruity aroma, and subtle bitter notes. It’s one of the necessary ingredients in a black forest cake, as well as other cherry-flavored desserts and cocktails.
Try not to skip the kirsch or replace it with anything else. It may be tempting to pick up a bottle of cherry liqueur instead, but the flavors in the drink will be completely thrown off and overly sweet!
The flavor of dry vermouth adds significant body and balance to all kinds of cocktails and martinis. It’s made from fortified wine, giving it an aromatic essence.
You’ll see two kinds of vermouth at the liquor store: dry and sweet. They cannot be used interchangeably here because balance is so important to each sip. If you were to replace dry vermouth with sweet vermouth, the sweet cocktail would end up with an ill-fitting earthy flavor.
This sweet and tart pomegranate syrup gives the cocktail its signature sweetness and deep red color. Consider using a real grenadine like one from Jack Rudy or Stirrings.
If you can’t find grenadine, feel free to replace it with strawberry or raspberry simple syrup instead.
Don’t forget the garnish
This kirsch cocktail would be perfectly complemented with a fresh cherry or Luxardo maraschino cherry!
Frequently asked questions
Kirsh is best enjoyed in cocktails and baking, however, it can be sipped on its own in a small glass as an apéritif.
No, I don’t recommend substituting cherry liqueur for kirsch because liqueur is much sweeter than kirsch. If you were to make this substitution, the cocktail would be overly sweet and not as balanced.
Thoroughly shaking this cocktail with ice will help melt the ice and dilute the strong flavors. This is imperative to the balance!
You’ll need a cocktail shaker for this step. My favorite cocktail shaker is the Boston Shaker because it seals perfectly and makes you feel like a fancy bartender! If you don’t have one, you can use a sealed mason jar or a container with a lid in a pinch.
Make sure to look over my Guide to Batching Cocktails for Parties before making a large batch of kirsch rose cocktails. It has crucial information about achieving the same flavors as a concentrated, smaller cocktail. When it’s ready, pour the pitcher of rose cocktails into chilled cocktail glasses and enjoy!
Kirsch Rose Cocktail
- 1 ½ ounces Kirsch
- 1 ounce dry vermouth
- 1 ounce grenadine
- Optional: maraschino cherry for garnish a luxardo is my favorite!
- Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake for at least 30 seconds.
- Pour into a chilld glass.
- Serve with a maraschino cherry and enjoy!
MORE COCKTAIL RECIPES
Want more killer cocktail recipes in your life? Here are a few I think you’ll like since you enjoyed the Kirsch Rose Cocktail recipe.
I am going to try this recipe tonight.
Because the other reviewer said that the grenadine is very sweet I may substitute maraschino cherry syrup double strength for the grenadine. I will probably leave all the other ingredients/proportions the same.
Michelle Weiner says
Thanks for the comment! I hope you enjoyed the recipe!
I love trying something new, and happened to have all the ingredients. This is definitely sweet, and to my palate, left a slight medicinal taste. It's a very pretty cocktail, and I think would be a good choice for a fancy bridal shower or baby shower (for everyone but mom!).
Michelle Weiner says
Yay! I am so glad you gave this a try. It's definitely something a little different and I totally agree it would be a fun addition to a fancy bridal shower! Thanks for leaving the review 🙂