The French Martini is one of the all-time-favorite "martinis" and the best French Martini is a mix of the best ingredients. Choose your favorite premium dry gin (or vodka), break out the Chambord, and find the freshest pineapple juice you can get your hands on.
The story of the French Martini is that it was created by the Chambord company as a drink promotion. It worked! This cocktail quickly rose to the top ranks of the modern martini menu and it remains there. If you're ever at a loss for navigating those countless menu options, this is almost always a safe bet.
Why is it so popular? Quite simply, this is the perfect fruit martini! Whether you take yours with vodka or gin or choose to make it a little sweeter with more Chambord, the combination of raspberry and pineapple is fantastic.
It is a tempting cocktail and I will warn you that it's very easy to have one too many!
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Fun Fact: It is interesting to note that in some Prohibition-era bartending guides, the "French Martini" refers to a 5:1 gin, French (dry) vermouth, olive and lemon peel cocktail. It's much like a double-garnished, very Dry Martini.
Vodka or Gin?
This is the big question for many popular martini recipes and the choice is up to you.
Many of the French Martini recipes out there call for vodka though many drinkers (myself included) actually prefer it with gin.
In reality, there is a better mix that works with one spirit over the other. Which you end up with is going to be determined by your personal preference between the two and whether you're in the mood for a sweeter or a drier cocktail.
- Vodka French Martini: You might enjoy a vodka base better with a little more Chambord to create a sweeter cocktail. Try 1 1/2 ounces premium vodka with 1 ounce Chambord and 1 ounce pineapple and adjust from there.
- Gin French Martini: If you enjoy drinks on the drier side, begin with a premium gin in the main recipe above or even cut the Chambord back to 1/4 ounce. Drinks like the Park Avenue prove that gin and pineapple are a natural pairing and the Chambord in this recipe only helps to accent that combination further.
Tips for Replacing Chambord
Chambord is often the first raspberry liqueur that comes to mind. Though it is one of the best, it is not the only option.
If you're thinking about replacing Chambord, I recommend pouring something of comparable quality. There are many raspberry liqueurs out there, some are good, some average, and some not-so-good. Choose wisely.
How Strong is the French Martini?
Cocktails like the French Martini may look all sweet and innocent and their delicious flavor makes it easy to forget that they're actually potent little drinks! Don't be fooled by this one, the French Martini made with an 80-proof gin or vodka and Chambord has an alcohol content of right around 22% ABV (44 proof).
To put that into perspective, the average Gin Martini is 60-proof and the average Rum & Coke is 19-proof.