The French Martini is an elegant three-ingredient cocktail with pineapple, vodka, and a kiss of French Chambord. Perfect for entertaining!
These are really fun martinis to drink because with each sip you can taste a little hint of all three ingredients ~ pineapple, Chambord, and vodka
The sunny, slightly sweet and tart, frothy, and completely gorgeous French martini was created in New York in the 1980’s. It gained popularity in the U.S. in the 90’s and hasn’t looked back since!
These types of elegant, beautiful drinks, like our Blueberry Vodka Cocktail, and reader favorite, the Red Velvet Martini, are always a hit with friends and for special occasions. The French Martini has the advantage of being super simple to make, as well.Jump to Recipe
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our affiliate disclosure for more details.
Just 3 ingredients ~ plus a delicious garnish ~ are needed:
- Pineapple Juice – If you can find (or make) fresh juice then definitely use it! If not, use quality premade 100% pineapple juice, such as Dole brand
- Vodka – Since there are just a few ingredients in this drink we recommend you opt for a premium vodka for the best and cleanest vodka flavor!
- Chambord Liqueur– This liqueur is what makes the drink a “French” martini. Chambord is a French produced liqueur that is an infusion of raspberries, blackberries, black raspberries, black currant, Madagascar vanilla, and Cognac
- Fresh Raspberries – Optional, but perfect for a garnish. We skewered ours with a decorative bamboo cocktail pick. We chose to use 3 raspberries since traditional martinis use 3 olives
(See the recipe card below for the exact quantities of each ingredient)
Helpful tips before starting:
While this recipe is super simple there are a few important steps for success.
- If possible chill or freeze both your martini glasses and your martini shaker for about 10-15 minutes before preparing the drinks
- Chilled pineapple juice, and vodka from the freezer, are ideal to help create the frothy top for this drink which makes it look so elegant
- Use ice cubes, instead of crushed ice, for the best results. Crushed ice tends to dilute the drink too much during shaking
Instructions for making a French Martini
- Prep the garnish by skewering 3 raspberries and set aside
- Add ice cubes, pineapple juice, and vodka to the martini shaker
- Pour the Chambord into the shaker
- Place the top on the shaker and shake vigorously for about 30-seconds
- The shaker will get super cold so if needed wrap a small kitchen towel around it. I always do this because it also helps save you from any leaks from the shaker
- Leave the strainer on the shaker and gently pour the shaken martini into the martini glasses
- The strainer will prevent any ice from going into the glasses and diluting the finished cocktail
- The top should be foamy as you pour it in. The foaminess depends on how cold and how long you shake
Hint: The colder the ingredients when you start the more refreshing and frothy the French Martini cocktail will be when you pour it!
Of course, if the drink isn’t super frothy on top it will still be delicious! The froth will evaporate in a few minutes so be sure to serve immediately after pouring. Again, these cocktails are still delicious even with little or no froth.
Since there are only 3 ingredients in the original French Martini there aren’t a lot of substitutions to be made, however, here are a few ideas if you feel like getting creative!
- Gin – substitute gin for vodka for a slightly more botanical taste
- Pineapple wedge garnish – Instead of raspberries use a chunky wedge of pineapple on the side of the glass
- Lemon twist garnish – to give the drink more of a traditional “martini” feel use a twist of lemon peel instead of the raspberries
- Chambord substitute – there are a few other choices out there so if you’re not using Chambord we recommend Mathilde Framboise Liqueur because it has a clean raspberry flavor
- SHAKER – Using a quality cocktail shaker is the key to a great frothy martini. We use either a traditional silver shaker or a clear shaker. Just make sure it has a strainer.
- GLASSES – We love the elegant look of etched coupe glasses (we found ours at an antique store), but traditional martini glasses work well too.
Planning a party and want to be prepared ahead of time?
- Chill everything!
- If making fresh pineapple juice make it ahead of time and then shake well before prepping the cocktail
- Premix the Chambord, pineapple juice, and vodka and refrigerate. When ready to prepare the drink add ice to a shaker and proceed as above
- Why is it called a “French Martini”? This cocktail wasn’t invented in France but Chambord liqeuer is produced in France, thus the name. Want to make it even more French? Use a French vodka brand, such as Ciroc, Vodka Mariette, or Grey Goose. (we used Absolut in ours which is Swedish and has a nice creamy finish)
- Who invented the original French Martini? It was first shaken at one of restaurateur Keith McNally’s New York City bars. It the appeared on the cocktail menu at McNally’s famous Balthazar in SoHo in 1996.
Perfect appetizers to serve along with French Martinis:
- Our Honey Roasted Cashews are a sweet, salty snack that is perfect for happy hour
- Baked Brie with Garlic pairs perfectly with these slightly tart martinis
- Crab Cakes with zesty homemade Cocktail Sauce are an ideal appetizer or great as a light meal
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 2 martini glasses
- 4 ounces premium vodka
- 2 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 ounce Chambord liqueur, or similar such as Mathilde Framboise (2 TBSP)
- ice cubes
- 6 raspberries for garnish, optional
- Fill a cocktail shake about ½ full with ice cubes
- Add vodka, pineapple juice, and Chambord to the shaker
- Shake vigorously for about 20-30 seconds. The shaker will get very cold, so consider wrapping it in a dish towel. You want some froth to develop in the shaker
- Strain gently into 2 martini or coupe glasses
- If desired, garnish with a few raspberries, and serve
- This drink works best if all of the ingredients are chilled before using
- Use whole ice in the shaker. Crushed ice melts too quickly and will dilute the martini
- Just need one martini? Simply cut the ingredients in half
- For an extra cold drink chill the glasses in advance