Treat yourself to a delicious French Martini ... this classic cocktail is fancy enough for special occasions, yet it's super simple to make!
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Looking for a fun, festive cocktail that will get the party started ... or maybe just start a lazy Friday night at home?
Then, you have to try the French Martini! This fruity martini with flavors of pineapple and raspberry is wonderfully balanced and perfectly sweet (but not too sweet).
If you love a fancy cocktail that's easy to prepare, then this drink is for you! It's quick to make, and you only need three ingredients. Plus, it's versatile ... as perfect for a lazy evening at home as it is for New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day (or Galentine's), and other special occasions, like anniversaries or a cozy date night.
Ready to start mixing? Then, keep reading for all the details!
About the Cocktail
This classic cocktail is a flavored martini that features a delicious combo of pineapple and raspberry flavors. You may also sometimes see it referred to as a French Kiss Martini.
Despite the name, the drink isn't actually from France. The French Martini, which helped spark a cocktail renaissance starting in the late 1980s, was invented at an NYC bar. You can still find it on the menu at Balthazar, one of the restaurants that helped popularize the cocktail!
Although the drink didn't originate in France, the ingredient that makes the French Martini French is Chambord, a black raspberry liqueur that's made in the Loire Valley south of Paris from raspberries, blackberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey, and cognac.
Wondering what's in a French Martini? It's actually really simple: vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice.
- Vodka - The martini is a cocktail where it's worth splashing out on the vodka a bit. I used my go-to vodka which is fine for most mixed drinks, but this classic cocktail is an invitation to break out a better vodka, like Belvedere or Grey Goose. The resulting cocktail will be much smoother.
- Chambord - This premium French raspberry liqueur can be a little pricey, but the good news is that you can find it pretty much everywhere. There really isn't a good Chambord substitute, so I'd recommend just biting the bullet and purchasing a small bottle. A little goes a long way in most drinks anyway.
- Pineapple Juice - Choose a good quality pineapple juice for this drink. Or make your own by pureeing pineapple chunks in a blender, then straining out the pulp with a fine mesh strainer.
Variations: Prefer gin? You can definitely substitute gin for the vodka. Just keep in mind that vodka is essentially flavorless, so the gin will add a piney-herbal-botanical vibe that isn't present in the original recipe. You could also swap a high quality Crème de Cassis (a blackcurrant liqueur) for the Chambord ... try a classic French brand like Lejay or L'Heritier-Guyot.
You'll Also Need
To make this drink, you'll also need a jigger, cocktail shaker, strainer, and plenty of ice. If you don't have a shaker and the accompanying accessories, I'd recommend purchasing a cocktail shaker set which will have everything you need for this cocktail (and any other drink you make in the future).
To serve the drink, you'll need with a small martini glass or a coupe glass, which is what I've used here. The retro shape of coupe glasses is so beautiful, and they're also slightly precarious to drink out of ... which definitely adds a fun vibe!
How to Make a French Martini
Got five minutes? Then, you have time to whip up this gorgeous Chambord Martini!
Start by filling your cocktail shaker about half full with ice. The, pour the vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice over the ice.
Tip: Unlike the traditional martini, you must shake this drink. Shaking the cocktail dilutes the ingredients perfectly and creates the frothy finish.
Once you've added the ingredients to the shaker, close it tightly, then shake vigorously.
Aim to shake the drink for at least 15 seconds. This will chill and dilute the ingredients. If your hands gets too cold, wrap the shaker in a kitchen towel.
Shaking the drink also makes the pineapple juice turn foamy, giving the martini its signature frothy finish. If your cocktail isn't frothy, keep shaking a little bit longer.
Tip: Cocktail shakers are notorious for leaking. To create tight seal, press the cap and lid onto the tumbler tightly, then give them a slight twist.
Strain the cocktail into a glass, making sure to let the froth get through. It should float beautifully on the top of your drink.
The finished cocktail will have a beautiful golden-pinkish color. Doesn't it look inviting?
Despite its pretty appearance, the vodka definitely packs a punch. So don't feel like you have to save this one for the ladies. It isn't overly girly.
Tip: This is a drink that needs to be served ice cold, so don't make more than one cocktail for yourself at a time. However, if you're serving two people, fill the shaker about ¾-full with ice, then simply double the other ingredients.
Garnishing Your Cocktail
A garnish isn't 100% necessary for this good-looking drink, but it's surely the perfect finishing touch! Here are some easy ideas:
- Fresh Raspberry - Float half a raspberry in the center of the drink or skewer a few on a reusable swizzle stick.
- Pineapple Wedge - Add a thin slice of pineapple to the rim of the glass.
- Lemon Twist - Prop a twist of lemon rind over the edge of the glass ... so pretty! You could also do a thicker slice of rind in the glass.
How to Make a Lemon Twist Garnish
Lemon twists are easy to make, though they can take a bit of practice. Start by using a paring knife to slice a long strip of rind from a lemon, then carefully remove as much of the white pith as possible.
Cut the rind into a narrow strip, then twist it into a tight spiral, holding for several seconds or until it maintains a twist. The twist will expand once you let it go, so try not to get too particular!
Alternatively, you can use citrus zester with a channel knife to remove the rind. Or you can cut a thin slice of lemon, then separate the rind from the flesh.
If you're looking for more Chambord drinks, make sure to try my Kir Impérial (Chambord and Champagne) recipe next!
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ½ ounces pineapple juice
- ¾ ounce Chambord liqueur
- lemon twist, fresh raspberry, or small pineapple wedge (optional)
- Fill cocktail shaker half full with ice. Add vodka, pineapple juice, and Chambord.
- Seal shaker, then shake vigorously until drink is well mixed and frothy.
- Strain drink into small martini or coupe glass. Garnish with lemon twist, fresh raspberry, or pineapple wedge if desired.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!