This month we talk about a drink that is part smart marketing, part history and part balancing act. We are talking about the French Martini! Some say it was actually created by the marketing team at Chambord, which would be quite the move of creative genius! The most common story of origin is that it was created in one of the bars of Keith McNelly, an operator of chains of very successful restaurants, clubs and bars. In one of them, this drink was created in the 80s, and was subsequently first listed on the menu of Balthazar New York, an upscale restaurant, in 1996, already in the section “classic cocktails”, so by then it already had quite the reputation.
The “French” in French martini is said to be the Chambord, a raspberry liqueur very popular at the time, and still quite popular today. Nevertheless, you can’t tell a bartender what to do, and all sorts of raspberry liqueurs, fresh raspberries, Cassis and creme de Mûre (blackberries) is also used. Some say this cocktail MUST contain a French vodka, and indeed, if you are feeling supportive of the French (gotta love the French, right? Right?) there are certainly more than a few fine vodka brands that come to mind! The only thing I MUST underscore with this drink is that you NEED to use fresh pineapple juice. If you use preserved juice, the drink will be insanely sweet, beyond anything anyone might like. Additionally, shaking with fresh pineapple creates that pretty foam pictured here!
I also recommend checking the acidity of your fresh pineapple, as it is this acidity that will need to carry the balance, so for instance with a sweet pineapple you might want to tone down the Chambord. For garnish, use a raspberry if you got them; if not, stick with a bit of that pineapple you just juiced.
50 ml Vodka -I am Dutch so i am going for Ketel One shoot me
20 ml Chambord
40 ml fresh juiced Pineapple.
Shake and strain in a coupe or Martini glass Garnish with raspberry or fresh pineapple. All in all, certainly a festive drink that is in fact not that easy to make, and can be quite the crowd pleaser. One to keep under your belt at all times, Proost!
Photo by Chris-Duncan/Shutterstock
Author: Timo Janse