French Martini

French Martini
The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
191 Calories
0g Fat
11g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 191
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 21mg 103%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 62mg 1%
*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.)

The simple three-ingredient French martini has the taste of sweet raspberries and tart pineapple against a vodka background. The modern French martini was created in the late 1980s and is attributed to the New York City bars owned by restauranteur Keith McNally. By the mid-'90s, it appeared on martini menus worldwide and had become an essential cocktail in the modern martini craze of drinks that resemble the original martini (sometimes in glassware alone). It has remained a favorite for so long because its 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 a luscious top layer—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.

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 perfectly fits your taste. Though often ungarnished, the French martini looks stunning with a lemon twist.

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Click Play to See This Simple French Martini Come Together

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, pour the vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice, then fill with ice.

    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

Why Is It Called a French Martini?

Despite its name, this cocktail was created in the United States. The drink's French Chambord is what gives the cocktail its name, as Chambord—a black raspberry liqueur produced in France—is key to the preparation. This martini also propelled Chambord to the highest ranks of popular top-shelf liqueurs and for that reason, it was erroneously credited for many years as having been created for the brand's marketing campaign.

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, much like a double-garnished, very dry martini.

Recipe Variations

Popular cocktails are transformed many times as bartenders might put a twist on it or follow the request of a client who wants to try something different. Our recipe is one of the most traditional ratios for a French martini, though it's fun to play with the recipe to see which version you enjoy best:

  • Accentuate the fruit flavor by pouring 2 ounces of pineapple juice with 1 ounce of vodka and 1/2 ounce of Chambord.
  • Make a sweet cocktail by pouring 1 ounce each of vodka and Chambord and 2 ounces of pineapple juice.
  • Make a drier version using gin. 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.
  • Replace the Chambord with a different raspberry liqueur, but be sure to choose something of comparable quality. Chambord is made with raspberries, blackberries, and blackcurrants, and its complex flavor is hard to substitute altogether. Try using créme de Cassis, a liquor made with blackcurrants, also very bold in flavor although darker in appearance than the Chambord.

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.