The French Martini

French Martini
The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
193 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 193
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 4mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Among contemporary classics, the French martini is one of the best cocktails. The simple three-ingredient recipe has the taste of sweet raspberries and tart pineapple against a vodka background. It debuted in the late 1980s and quickly rose to the top ranks of the modern martini menu. It has remained a favorite for so long because it's flavor can appeal to anyone and it is, quite simply, the ideal fruity vodka martini.

There's no big secret to making a great French martini at home. Simply choose a premium vodka, pick up a bottle of Chambord, and grab the freshest pineapple juice you can find. Shake the trio together and you have a cocktail with an exciting mix of fruit flavors and luscious foamy top. Make it as sweet, fruity, tart, or dry as you like, or switch to gin for a botanical twist. Like many modern cocktails, there are countless variations and you're sure to find a blend that fits your taste perfectly.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Chambord Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a French Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice.

    Mixing a French Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  3. Shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.

    Shaking a French Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    Straining a French Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  5. Serve and enjoy.

    French Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

Recipe Variations

Quite often, popular cocktails are transformed many times. The recipe is one of the most popular formulas, though it's fun to play with the ratio to see which you enjoy best.

  • Accentuate the pineapple by pouring 2 ounces of juice with 1 ounce of vodka and 1/2 ounce of Chambord.
  • Get sweet with 1 ounce each of vodka and Chambord with 2 ounces of pineapple juice.
  • Until vodka really took over, some of the first French martinis were made with dry gin. You can find this version in numerous bartending guides through the mid-2000s. To make it drier, it's often preferred with 1/4 ounce of Chambord.

Tips

  • If you want to replace Chambord, there are many raspberry liqueurs out there. Be sure to choose something of comparable quality.
  • When shaken, pineapple juice naturally creates a foam that floats on top of the French martini. The more you shake it, the frothier it becomes, so be sure to give this cocktail a really good shake.
  • Though often ungarnished, the French martini looks stunning with a lemon twist.

How Strong Is the French Martini?

The alluring flavor of cocktails like the French martini can make it easy to forget that they're actually quite potent. When made with 80-proof vodka, the French martini has an alcohol content right around 19 percent ABV (38 proof). To put that into perspective, the average vodka martini is 56 proof and a vodka cranberry is about 28 proof.

Why Is It Called a French Martini?

This cocktail was created in the United States. The drink's key ingredient is the connection to its "French" name: Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur produced in France.

When Was the French Martini Invented?

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. The modern French martini was created in the late 1980s. It's attributed to the New York City bars owned by restauranteur Keith McNally. By the mid-'90s, it appeared on martini menus worldwide. It was an essential cocktail in the modern martini craze filled with drinks that resemble the original martini in glassware alone. The drink also propelled Chambord to the highest ranks of popular top-shelf liqueurs. For that reason, it was erroneously credited for many years as having been created for the brand's marketing campaign.