French Martini with Chambord and Champagne

Chambord gives the French Martini its classic reddish color.
Free Champagne Cocktail Recipes

The French Martini with Chambord and Champagne is a relatively new variation on an old theme. There have been drinks called French Martinis around almost as long as the Martini itself, but the Chambord liqueur company created their new version as part of an international advertising campaign.

French Martinis with Chambord

Although there are sometimes references to French Martinis in pre-Prohibition bartender guides, there didn't seem to be a generally accepted recipe, and the drink had faded into obscurity with the passing of years. Chambord's updated version changed that. The drink was a hit, and helped fuel the modern Martini craze.

Chambord's Original French Martini Recipe

  • 1.5 oz. Finlandia vodka
  • .5 oz. Chambord
  • .5 oz. pineapple juice

Combine the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon peel.

Recipe Featuring Both Champagne and Chambord

  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • .5 oz. Chambord
  • .5 oz. pineapple juice
  • Champagne

Combine the vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice with ice in a cocktail shaker, and shake briskly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top off with Champagne, and garnish with a lemon peel. For an added touch, sugar half the rim of the glass.

Tips for Using Champagne in a French Martini

Champagne gives a festive feel, but many people are nervous about choosing and using Champagne in cocktails. A few easy tips make it a breeze.

  • There's no need to break the bank with expensive Champagne, just don't skimp by picking the cheapest. Good cocktails need good ingredients.
  • Should the Champagne be sweet or dry (Brut)? Sweet Champagne combined with the sweet flavors of the French Martini will be a little too much of a good thing for all but the most intense sweet tooth. The contrast of a dry Champagne is a better choice.
  • For best results, chill the Champagne and the glasses ahead of time. Warm Champagne will make an unpleasant cocktail, but Champagne doesn't do well over ice.
  • Unless the recipe specifies differently, don't add Champagne with the other ingredients in a shaker. Shaking will destroy the bubbles. Top off the cocktail with Champagne, and stir very lightly, if at all.

Variations of the French Martini

Like all good cocktails, the French Martini with Chambord and Champagne has inspired variations. With an addition here and a substitution there, bartenders have created drinks with a similar flavor but distinctive personalities.

Vanilla Vodka French Martini

  • 1.5 oz. vanilla vodka
  • .5 oz. Chambord
  • .5 oz. pineapple juice

Shake all ingredients with ice until cold, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh berries on a cocktail pick.

French Martini with Brandy

  • 1 oz. Belvedere vodka
  • .5 oz. brandy
  • 1.5 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1 tsp. sweet vermouth

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake until cold, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve garnished with a lemon twist.

Sapphire French Martini variation

  • 1 part Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1.5 parts fresh pineapple juice
  • Drizzle of Chambord

Shake all ingredients with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with several fresh raspberries on a cocktail pick.

History of Chambord

Chambord is said to have been inspired by stories of a raspberry liqueur produced in the late 1600s in the Loire Valley of France. Today's Chambord is still made in the same region, and uses raspberries and blackberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey and Cognac.

The berries are steeped for a month in spirits. The infusion is then strained and fresh spirits are added to the berries to steep for an additional two weeks. Once the second infusion is drained off, the alcohol-soaked berries are pressed, and the juice added to the spirits. The infused spirits are blended with the Cognac, honey, vanilla and other spices to create an all-natural liqueur with no artificial flavorings or colors.

French Martini with Chambord and Champagne