The French Martini is a vodka-based drink made with Chambord and a splash of fruit juice. I’ve seen recipes for it made with everything from pineapple juice to lemon juice. I don’t know how “French” this martini actually is, but using Chambord makes everything a bit more elegant. Chambord is a liqueur from the Loire Valley of France and, while the brand is fairly new (founded in 1982), it’s crafted after the 17th century liqueur that was a favourite of France’s aristocracy at the time. It’s made with blackberries, raspberries and black currants which are meticulously blended with Cognac and vanilla.
If you’re like me, you probably have a bottle of Chambord in the liquor cabinet or on the bar cart right now, waiting for summertime and the Chambord Royales you’ll make on hot summer afternoons, but there are so many other cocktails that can be made with Chambord. It’s a very sweet liqueur with heavy, complex fruit flavours and, for this reason, it blends well with a neutral base like vodka. Any sweetener that’s mixed in should be adjusted to personal taste.
This is my spin on the drink. I make this with Grey Goose Vodka, Chambord, lime juice and rose syrup. You know how much I love the aroma of roses! It reminds me of the rose garden at Château Bagatelle or of childhood summers spent in the forest foraging for wild rose hips which my grandmother would turn into the most decadent jam. It’s one of my very favourite scents! I use this rose-infused syrup in many of my cocktails because it weaves a delicate floral undertone into the drink. It complements berry flavours especially well. The syrup is super easy to make, just be sure to use culinary-grade rose petals. These can be purchased in spice shops, Middle-Eastern markets or online.
Chambord and Rose Martini
(for one cocktail)
1 oz. French vodka
1 oz. Chambord
1/2 oz. strained fresh lime juice
1/2 – 3/4 oz. rose-infused simple syrup, depending on taste (see recipe below)
1 thin strip of lime zest
In a cocktail shaker with ice, mix the vodka, Chambord, strained lime juice and rose simple syrup. Shake until cold, strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Twist a strip of lime zest over the top, drop it into the drink and serve.
Rose-Infused Simple Syrup
(makes enough for 4 – 5 cocktails)
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 TBSP culinary-grade organic rose petals
Bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the rose petals and take off of the heat. Let the syrup sit until completely cool. Pour through a mesh sieve to remove the petals, into a clean glass jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Other cocktails you might like: