All about cassis — Jenna Hemsworth shares her three favourite creme de cassis recipes

Jenna Hemsworth at Restaurant Hubert.
Jenna Hemsworth at Restaurant Hubert. Phopto: Christopher Pearce

If you’ve spent any time around the orbit of Jenna Hemsworth (whom you’ll find behind the stick at Sydney’s Restaurant Hubert), you’ll know she’s a bit of a fan of cassis. It is, in her words, “the greatest thing that ever existed.”

Cassis is the French term for blackcurrant, and it’s creme de cassis — the French liqueur made from blackcurrant — that Hemsworth is a little taken with.

“I’ve always been obsessed with Ribena; it was the soft drink that Mum allowed us to have,” says Hemsworth. Cassis, then, is the grown-up version of that blackcurrant cordial.

“It tastes delicious and it’s a bit cheeky,”  she says.

There are some rules that govern what can be labelled as a creme de cassis (as there tends to be in regulation-happy Europe): any liqueur labelled as a creme must contain a minimum of 250g of sugar per litre. However, creme de cassis has its own criteria, and must contain 400g of sugar per litre.

Here, Hemsworth has shared with us her go-to cassis drinks — we know we’ll be imbibing a Pompier the next time we get our hands on some blackcurrant stuff.

Print Recipe

Pompier

  1. Add vermouth and cassis to a tall glass over ice, top with soda.
Print Recipe

Kir Normandie

  1. Pour the cider into the glass and top with cassis.
  2. Use 1 part cassis to 5 parts cider as a rough guide, and experiment from there.
Print Recipe

Parisienne

  1. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Adapted from The Savoy Cocktail Book

Three great creme de cassis bottlings


Marionette Cassis
A homegrown hero, Marionette makes their cassis from white bud blackcurrants farmed in the Derwent Valley in Tasmania. The Marionette tends to run a little drier than the classic French versions of cassis, and there’s some good punchy acidity on the palate. Good Measure

Vedrenne Supercassis
Supercassis — it’s like cassis, but more super. Whereas regular creme de cassis must contain 400g/L or more, this Supercassis is up in the realms of 500g/L and double the concentration of fruit and makes for a powerful liqueur. Cerbaco

Domaine du Vissoux Creme de Cassis
Made from noir de bourgogne blackcurrants and from an organic estate, this is a rich, aromatic and drier style of creme de cassis. Bibendum
 

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