The French Martini recipe blends Chambord black raspberry liqueur with vodka and pineapple juice. It’s an absolutely delicious cocktail.
The flavor is mainly pineapple and raspberry – a fun choice whenever you’re in the mood for a fresh new fruity cocktail that’s not an old standard. This is a great drink for a night out.
History of the French Martini
This vodka cocktail is a modern classic cocktail that rose to prominence in the 1980s during the New York City nightlife scene. It was created by bar owner Keith Mcnally.
It’s part of the larger Martini family, but it deviates from the traditional Gin and Vermouth formulation. Instead, it’s a fruity vodka-based drink that notably includes Chambord, a black raspberry liqueur made in in the Loire Valley in France, which gives this cocktail its “French” moniker.
How to Make a French Martini Foamy
While most foamy cocktails involve egg whites, a French Martini gets its foamy top from the shaking process. The cocktail includes ingredients such as pineapple juice and Chambord. When these are shaken together vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker, it creates a frothy, foam layer on the top.
The foam is essentially tiny air bubbles trapped in the liquid, which get there due to the violent motion of shaking. This technique is used in many cocktails to create different texture and presentation.
It’s not any specific ingredient that makes the French Martini foamy but rather the method of preparation. The more vigorously you shake your drink, the more froth you’ll get on top!
Is it Shaken or Stirred?
Shaking gets you the foam on top. Stirring would not. Shaking also gives you all the ingredients being cold and well-mixed, which enhances the flavor.
Chambord liqueur has a fantastic flavor, but if you don’t have it on hand, here are two alternatives you might consider. Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur, so that’s the flavor you’re trying to substitute.
Crème de Cassis: This blackcurrant liqueur has a similar fruitiness to Chambord, though it is slightly more tart.
Raspberry Liqueur: For a very close flavor profile to Chambord, another raspberry liqueur will work well. Brands like Drillaud and Giffard offer great options.
Just remember that switching out ingredients can lead to subtle changes in the final taste of your cocktail, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it can be fun to experiment!
Pineapple Juice – Bottled or Fresh?
The best French Martini is made with fresh pineapple juice. But most of us don’t have quality pineapples available to us all year long, so bottled (or canned) is an option.
When you can get fresh pineapple, that’s a great time to make your French Martini.
The Perfect French Martini
You’re encouraged to play with the ratios of the ingredients in this one. If you like it less sweet, you can bump up the vodka amounts and reduce how much Chambord and pineapple juice you include.
If you want it sweeter, add more Chambord and/or pineapple juice, depending which flavor you love most.
There are variations on this recipe that even call for club soda, which would dilute the overall flavor. But sometimes that’s just what your palate wants. Also, it makes a nice spritzer that way.
Is it a true Martini?
Not really. The French Martini is much fruitier than most of its martini relatives due to its unique combination of pineapple juice and raspberry liqueur. It’s easy-to-drink nature made it very popular for those new to cocktails or anyone who appreciates sweet over dry flavors.
The French Martini is pineapple and black raspberry flavored - a fun choice whenever you're in the mood for a fresh new fruity cocktail that's not an old standard. This is a great drink for a night out.
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 3/4 ounce Chambord
- 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
- Fill a shaker with ice.
- Pour in the ingredients.
- Shake very well to get that foamy top.
- Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
- Garnish with raspberries.