Whether you’re a seasoned martini drinker or professional wine taster, you likely have tasted French Martini or heard of one. Like other liqueurs, this vermouth-free drink has been the subject of many debates, with people constantly questioning; why it is called a French martini. Without further ado, let’s delve into the history of this popular drink and offer a recipe for you to try out this coming weekend or holiday.
How did the French Martini come into existence?
According to Difford’s Guide, French Martini combines Chambord, vodka, and black raspberry liqueur. It was discovered by Chambord to market professional wine tasters in the 1980s. It was one of the most popular drinks in Keith McNally’s bars during the period. The French Martini is a compilation of French blackberry and raspberry liqueur. It’s also vermouth-free, making other people doubt if it’s a true martini. Strangely, towards the end of the late 1980s and 90s, when cocktails were popular in bars, restaurateurs and bartenders coined it as Martini, and the language has changed.
How it feels like taking a martini
Imagine sitting on the counter in your favorite bar joint sipping the French Martini. The feeling it evokes is that of a wealthy and classy person. You will almost feel like a James Bond if you’re a man. As a woman, picture yourself as Gwyneth Paltrow or Sharon Stone. You see, sipping on Martini neat or the rocks isn’t like taking your regular wine. It took wine tasting and cocktail connoisseurs to develop an elegant French martini recipe. As a result, there are many cocktail recipes for you to try at home this coming Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, or whatever holiday comes up.
How to come up with a perfect French Martini
There is something about vodka that goes well with most liqueurs. Don’t mistake the flavor of the French Martini for your regular orange juice. It contains raspberry liqueurs and pineapple juice, but it’s still a strong drink, making it a retro classic cocktail. Other ingredients in a French Martini include: Vodka, Pineapple juice and Chambord (in a bar of elegant gold and rounded purple bottle). One interesting downside of cheap vodka brands is their sharp and hot tastes. Of course, it’s not advisable to sip it over a long time if you don’t want the heat overwhelming your body. To avoid this, don’t go for low-quality brands. Settle on a brand that doesn’t give off a burn at the end that doesn’t need to be there. The beauty of vodka is that it doesn’t cause hangovers like other colored liqueurs when taken in moderation. The best part is that vodka is versatile. You can add fruit juice or soda water to tone down the bitter taste. While you may be spoilt for choices regarding the French Martini accompaniments to go for, it’s all about how your mouth and throat feel when it washes down.
How to make a French Martini with a high-quality vodka
Some people attest to the vigorous shaking method as the best way to create a cocktail, while others prefer gentle stirring. The truth is vigorous shaking produces tiny air bubbles that foam at the top. On the other hand, stirring doesn’t make the ice effectively dilute the liqueur. Interestingly, that’s the selling point most bartenders rely on, but in the real sense, it doesn’t make the pineapple fruit juice blend well with the liqueur. It’s best to mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake for five to six seconds. Making a perfect French Martini works in two ways:
1. The cocktail shaker method
Here is the juiciest part. Start by adding the Chambord, pineapple juice, and vodka. Next, shake it for five to six seconds in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. According to A Couple Cooks, a mason jar is a perfect alternative if you don’t have a cocktail shaker.
2. The straining method
You can strain the Chambord, vodka, and pineapple juice. Add the mixture to a cocktail or martini glass and garnish it with raspberry for a sweet flavor. Another idea worth noting is that a French Martini and decorations go hand-in-hand. There’s no way you’re going to make a cocktail without beautifying it. So, before you take your first sip, consider decorating it using; Cut pineapple slice to form a triangle or web shape and place it on the rim, a slice of lemon peel, a thin slice of orange and leave it to submerge in your Martini as well as raspberries and a twist of lemon in the cocktail.
Is a Chambord worth your money?
A Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur made in France, and it’s in a gold and purple round bottle. The first time it was discovered was in the 1980s. It’s believed that whoever invented it must have been inspired by a raspberry liqueur recipe in the 1680s. This liqueur has a rich and fruity raspberry and citrusy flavor. According to a Couple Cooks, it costs about $20 to buy Chambord’s most miniature bottle. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or want to test this brand for the first time, it will be worth the price. So, if you don’t fancy the vodka content, you can spritz it by adding champagne or soda water.
What’s the reasoning behind the V-shaped glasses for serving the French Martini?
Ever wondered why Martini is served in a V-shaped glass? If you have, then it will please you to learn that it’s for two reasons; its visual appeal and functionality. Upon checking the brim of the glass, you will notice it’s wide open. Scientists believe it is that way because it produces surface tension that brings out the gin’s bouquet. It also makes the olive garnish look more elegant, unlike other wine glasses.
Now that you’ve known the history behind the French Martini, it’s time to create a cocktail that will tantalize your tastebuds. You might also need to head out to your local glass store for a martini glass. Once you finish preparing your recipe, don’t forget to decorate it. Enjoy your drink.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith