He used to be a major Resistance fighter against the German occupation during WW 2 and got the French Honour Cross in 1946.
During the same year, he became a member of the French Parliament as a "député" and the mayor of Dijon, the most important city of Burgundy, what he still was when he passed away.
This is during this period that he started offering, for all public events parties in Dijon, a pre-meal drink all the Burgundese people already knew under the "blanc-cassis" (in English "white wine-blackcurrant) name people used to drink in bars everywhere in France.
At a point when this drink became quite popular, the Damidot family, owner of the biggest liquor factory of Dijon, called Lejay-Lagoutte, asked from Dijon's mayor the authorisation of using his (Kir) name.
Probably flattered that such an important family wanted to pay him a tribute, he accepted.
Some time later, seeing the increasing success of the Lejay-Lagoutte "kir", he invited the other liquorits in order to grant them the same privilege but it was too late : Lejay-Lagoutte had registered the "kir" trade mark. Despite numerous court cases, and at the final appeal step, the highest instance court ("Cour de Cassation") confirmed on October 27, 1992 that the Lejay-Lagoutte company was the exclusive (and forever) owner of the "kir" trade name
1/3 blackcurrant cream from Dijon
2/3 white Burgundy wine (Aligoté grapes)
However, in most bars and "cafés" (and because of the sugar surplus coming from the fruit cream) kir is now made with these proportions :
1/5 blackcurrant cream from Dijon
4/5 white Burgundy wine (Aligoté grapes)
Personally, I prepare it when the first blackcurrant creams of the year are available at the wine merchants and I use a cool aligoté wine from Chitry, a small village close to Irancy in the Yonne department. I serve it with still warm "gougères" (salted cheese choux buns)(note of the translator : I will soon translate th gougère recipe into English).
You will find many variations of this recipe, with rapsberry, blackerry or peach cream, Champagne or other sparkling wines etc...
However, one must pay a tribute to the clairvoyance of this excellent canon, died in 1968 at the age of 92 years who allowed this nice small regional drink to become, today, the most drunk apéritif in the world. Of course, drink it in moderation !