The French Martini is a classic cocktail born out of the martini craze of the 1990s. This drink, featuring vodka, chambord, and pineapple juice, remains a mainstay in cocktail culture for its simplicity and balance of flavors.

orange-pink drink in a coupe glass with chambord and plants in the background

History of the French Martini

The French Martini was  irst brought to New York City in the late 1980s by distiller and bartender Allen Katz. Though it became increasingly popular on the cocktail scene in the 1990s when flavored martinis were “the” thing. 

Luckily, unlike most of the popular ‘tini drinks back then, this one has stood the test of time. And for good reason—it’s simple, sweet and always classy. 

What is Chambord?

Chambord, a relatively new liqueur to the booze world, is a French black raspberry liqueur based off of a raspberry liqueur recipe from the 1600s. It came onto the bar scene in the 1980s and has since become a mainstay in drinks like the French Martini, Kir Royale, and the Clover Club

Due to being sweet, fruity and still somewhat new in the bar world, there aren’t many classic cocktails that use chambord liqueur. Consider making a low ABV drink by combining it with a little soda water and lemon.

Once opened, store chambord in a cool dark place. For the best flavor, use it within 6 months of opening.

Ingredients in French Martini recipe

Other than vodka, the French Martini has very little in common with the classic vodka martini. A classic vodka martini features vodka, dry vermouth, bitters and a lemon twist or olives for garnish. Alternatively, here are the main ingredients of the French Martini cocktail:

  • Vodka
  • Chambord (the reason for the nod to France in the name)
  • Fresh pineapple juice (when shaken vigorously with ice, pineapple juice creates a creamy, frothy cocktail). 

There are many variations on the French Martini including swapping gin in for vodka which creates a more botanical-forward drink. Some (including Katz himself) use creme de cassis in place of the chambord which makes for a less-fruity, more boozy drink. 

orange-pink drink in a coupe glass with chambord and plants in the background

How to Make a French Martini with chambord

The process is simple—combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, strain and garnish.

  1. Add vodka, pineapple juice, and Chambord to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 
  2. Secure the lid and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass and enjoy. 
  4. Optional: garnish with a raspberry, blackberry or lemon twist.

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orange-pink drink in a coupe glass with chambord and plants in the background

French Martini Cocktail

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cocktails 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: no-cook
  • Cuisine: French/American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This 3-ingredient modern classic cocktail is simple, well-balanced and always in season.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce Chambord

Instructions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord to shaker, secure lid, and shake until thoroughly chilled.
  2. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish, if desired.


Notes

Creme de Cassis or Creme de Mure will work in place of chambord.

If you don’t have a coupe glass, you can use a martini glass.

Keywords: french martini, french martini recipe, french martini chambord

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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