Chambord is a French black raspberry liqueur with a great history and a beautiful bottle.
The distinctive bottle, with its regal air, is a call back to the liqueur’s royal history. According to legend, in the 17th century Louis XIV visited Château de Chambord and was introduced to an indulgent liqueur made from wild raspberries, and this formed the basis of the delicious drink we have today.
A well-known myth is that Chambord invented the classic cocktail the French Martini to promote and sell their liqueur, although this is debated, as Simon Difford of Difford’s Guide states it was invented in 1980s New York. Either way, the invention of the popular cocktail certainly helped launch Chambord into the mainstream.
The drink has a delicate combination of raspberries, blackberries, vanilla and French cognac. It is sweet and rich, but if used in careful balance with other ingredients, it does not need to be overpowering in its sweetness. It is only 16.5% so you don’t need to worry about overdoing it!
Shake all of the ingredients with some hard ice in a cocktail shaker until the shaker frosts. Strain the drink into a martini glass or champagne saucer, ideally through a Julep strainer if you have one, as this will help give the drink it’s delicious pink froth.
This is a great drink to have in the bag when you go somewhere you are unfamiliar with. Any bartender will be able to make it, and although it won’t make you look adventurous the most important thing is getting a drink you actually like!
- 50 ml Chambord
- 40 ml lemon juice
- 4-5 ice cubes
Shake all ingredients well and then pour entire contents into a solid rocks glass. You should get a nice frothy consistency to the drink, but this is one to sip at, as the melting ice cubes are the mixer! You can also shake this up with the ice and then pour the liquid over a glass of crushed ice.
If you prefer a martini style drink, you can add an egg white to the shaker, and then shake and strain into a martini glass. You won’t taste the egg white but it will give the drink a great texture.
The Chambord Sour is very sweet and sharp, so not to everyone’s taste. Other popular versions include the Amaretto Sour, Midori Sour and Whisky Sour, so play around with your favourite spirits.
Chambord also just adds lovely flavour and colour to sparkling wine, or will jazz up a simple vodka and lemonade. It will also look lovely in your cupboard, if you are still trying to justify buying a bottle! However, it doesn’t keep forever, and the beautiful purple hue of the liquid will slowly ferment to a brownish colour, with a slightly stewed flavour, so unless you are getting this in for a big party, you might be better off getting one of the small 20cl bottles rather than the large 70cl bottle – you don’t want any to go to waste!