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Blackcurrant vs. Cassis — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 2, 2023
Blackcurrant is the fruit of the Ribes nigrum plant, while Cassis refers to a liqueur made from blackcurrants.
Blackcurrant vs. Cassis — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Blackcurrant and Cassis


Key Differences

Blackcurrant is a small, tart berry used in culinary preparations, while Cassis, a French word, often denotes a liqueur made from these berries. Blackcurrants have a distinct, sharp flavor and are rich in vitamins, while Cassis is sweet, syrupy, and used to flavor cocktails and desserts. Both the fruit and the liqueur are popular in Europe, with blackcurrants being used in a variety of recipes from jams to juices, and Cassis being a notable ingredient in drinks like Kir and Kir Royale.
The term "blackcurrant" refers directly to the fruit itself, which is grown on shrubs and is known for its health benefits. Cassis, on the other hand, is the French term for blackcurrant when referring to the liqueur; however, it can sometimes also be used to refer to the fruit in a culinary context. While blackcurrants are versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked, Cassis is typically consumed as a beverage additive, bringing a fruity and sweet dimension to drinks.
In terms of cultivation, blackcurrants are a hardy fruit grown in cooler climates and have multiple varieties, each with a unique taste profile. Cassis liqueur originated in France and traditionally uses blackcurrants from the Burgundy region, indicating not just a product but a region-specific delicacy. While blackcurrants can be found fresh, frozen, or in various processed forms, Cassis is primarily available in its liquid form.
When discussing health benefits, blackcurrant berries are noted for their high vitamin C content and antioxidants. In contrast, Cassis, being an alcoholic beverage, does not share these health properties but is praised for its deep, concentrated flavor of blackcurrants. Both blackcurrants and Cassis can be considered specialty items outside of Europe due to import restrictions and regional growing conditions.
The terminology can differ across languages and regions; for instance, "blackcurrant" is the common term in English-speaking countries, while "Cassis" might be more frequently used in French-speaking regions, but both can occasionally be used interchangeably depending on context. When someone talks about blackcurrants, they might be referring to the berry in any form, but when they mention Cassis, they're typically speaking of the liqueur derived from the blackcurrant fruit.

Comparison Chart


A berry.
A liqueur.


Eaten raw/cooked.
Used in beverages.


From the shrub Ribes nigrum.
Originates from France.


Tart and sharp.
Sweet and concentrated.


Culinary and nutritional.
Culinary and beverage-specific.

Compare with Definitions


The edible fruit of the Ribes nigrum plant.
Blackcurrant jams are rich in antioxidants.


Used to describe a deep, berry flavor in food and drinks.
The cocktail had a strong note of cassis.


A flavoring in various food products.
The yogurt had a hint of blackcurrant flavor.


Sometimes used as a sophisticated term for blackcurrant products.
The cheesecake had a layer of cassis jelly.


A small, purple berry known for its tartness.
She added fresh blackcurrants to the tart.


A liqueur often used in desserts and pastries as a flavoring.
The cassis-infused chocolate was decadent.


Often used in dietary supplements for its high vitamin C content.
He takes a blackcurrant extract daily for his health.


A sweet, dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants.
She mixed cassis with white wine to make a Kir.


A color descriptor for a deep, purplish-black.
She wore a dress in a rich blackcurrant shade.


A French term for blackcurrant used in culinary contexts.
Cassis sorbet is refreshingly tangy.


The blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum), also known as black currant or cassis, is a deciduous shrub in the family Grossulariaceae grown for its edible berries. It is native to temperate parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia, where it prefers damp fertile soils.


Cassis (French pronunciation: ​[kasi]; Occitan: Cassís) is a commune situated east of Marseille in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, whose coastline is known in English as the French Riviera, in Southern France. In 2016, it had a population of 7,265.


A small round edible black berry that grows in loose hanging clusters.


A syrupy blackcurrant liqueur produced mainly in Burgundy.


The widely cultivated shrub that bears blackcurrants.


A wine produced in the region of Cassis, a small town near Marseilles.


A shrub, Ribes nigrum, that produces small, very dark purple, edible berries.


A syrup made from black currants.


The berry borne by this shrub.


Crème de cassis.


The blackcurrant plant, Ribes nigrum; the flavor of its berries


A liqueur made from these berries, especially crème de cassis.
Cassis and soda is a popular drink.


(chiefly US) A wine flavor note, suggesting the fruity and full-bodied characteristics of the fruit; mostly referred to as simply blackcurrant in the UK, where the fruit is common.

Common Curiosities

What is blackcurrant?

Blackcurrant is the edible berry from the Ribes nigrum shrub.

Where is cassis liqueur made?

It originates from France, especially in the Burgundy region.

Can blackcurrants be eaten raw?

Yes, they can be consumed raw or used in various dishes.

Are blackcurrants and cassis the same?

No, blackcurrants are the fruit, while cassis is a liqueur made from the fruit.

Do blackcurrants grow in the United States?

Yes, but they are not as common due to historical cultivation restrictions.

What are the health benefits of blackcurrants?

They are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Is cassis used in any popular cocktails?

Yes, it's used in Kir and Kir Royale.

Is cassis always alcoholic?

Yes, cassis is a liqueur and therefore contains alcohol.

How should I store fresh blackcurrants?

Keep them refrigerated and consume them within a few days.

Are there different varieties of blackcurrants?

Yes, there are multiple cultivars with varying flavors.

What does cassis taste like?

Cassis is sweet and rich with a deep blackcurrant flavor.

Can I substitute cassis for blackcurrants in recipes?

It depends on the recipe; cassis is sweeter and more concentrated than the fruit.

Can cassis be used in savory dishes?

While uncommon, it can add a sweet contrast to some savory sauces.

What is the alcohol content of cassis liqueur?

It varies but is typically around 15-20% ABV.

What food pairings work well with cassis?

It pairs well with creamy desserts, chocolates, and certain cheeses.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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