This delicious French Martini cocktail is filled with fresh ingredients including pineapple, raspberry puree, and basil. It’s a fun twist on the traditional French Martini recipe that’s perfect for anyone who loves fresh herbs in a cocktail!
A good martini never goes out of style. When in doubt, I always whip out my shaker and put together some type of fruity martini.
While I love a cocktail packed with fresh ingredients, I never want it to be too sweet or too strong. It’s a delicate balance!
This French martini recipe is a classic for a reason, and it’s always been one of my favorite martini recipes. It’s a simple mix that can be made a variety of ways and is really easy to make. A good French martini cocktail will definitely give off an upscale vibe, even if you want your night in to be a little fancier!
Not many of the French martini recipe ingredients are actually French (pineapples definitely don’t make me think of France), but Chambord is the French ingredient that gives this raspberry cocktail its name. It was actually created by the Chambord marketing team in the 80’s and quickly became a hit.
You can ask most bartenders for a French martini and they’ll know what you mean, but I personally like making the French martini recipe myself. I find that this specific ratio of fresh ingredients is especially delicious!
The French Martini recipe is one of the most delicious cocktails that you will find anywhere. The combination of ingredients used to make the French Martini recipe creates a truly sophisticated and unique tasting drink. You just can’t go wrong with this delectable cocktail!
While the French Martini is a classic cocktail, many people don’t know how to make it properly! The trick is to shake the mixture (not stir it), so that the very tense foam stays on top of the drink instead of sinking to the bottom.
In France, this cocktail is commonly referred to as ‘un Americano’ or ‘un dry’. Some also call it a “French 75”, but this name refers to another cocktail.
French Martini Recipe Ingredients
What I love about this French martini recipe is that it’s mostly fruit-based, so it won’t be overly sweet unless you purposefully make it that way. You can easily change up the quantities of each ingredient; most bartenders have their own method of making the French martini recipe.
Chambord & Vodka
The French martini recipe is by no means weak. At the same time, it’s pretty strong without actually tasting like straight alcohol. Chambord is an especially delicious addition as it’s made from black raspberries, honey, vanilla, and herbs.
I usually use Grey Goose vodka to give this raspberry martini an extra French-like twist, but any decent vodka will work (I also like Ciroc or Titos).
You can use flavored vodka or unflavored vodka for this French martini recipe. I do recommend that if you choose flavored vodka, you make sure it’s high end and doesn’t taste like artificial sweetener. That’s a quick way to kill this cocktail.
There are many types of vodka that you can use in your martini. The most popular is Russian vodka, mainly because it’s the best and goes with the most flavors. If you’re going to use flavored vodka, I recommend just about any Russian brand.
Chambord is a type of raspberry liqueur that can be used in place of vodka. This sweet, tart liqueur gives your martini a more fruity taste that some people prefer. Be careful not to use too much Chambord or you may find it hard to taste the other flavors in your drink.
This recipe uses both Chambord and vodka. You definitely want to go light on the Chambord or it quickly overpowers the drink.
The classic French martini recipe is made with Chambord (black raspberry liquor), Vodka, and pineapple juice. I did use all of these ingredients, but I make a few adjustments that many higher end establishments follow as well.
Firstly, I highly recommend making fresh pineapple juice! While you can easily use canned juice, fresh juice has a subtle flavor that makes the drink more upscale, plus fresh pineapple juice isn’t packed with artificial sweeteners.
You can definitely taste test if you want to see a noticeable different, but in general, any pineapple juice martini will be way better and more high end with fresh ingredients.
I just juice a full pineapple using my at-home juicer, but you could use a blender as well. Some grocery stores actually sell freshly squeezed pineapple juice, which is a much better alternative compared to canned.
It takes about a pound of pineapples to make 1 cup of juice. One large pineapple usually gives about one cup of juice. If you don’t have time to squeeze all the fruit, then just use the core as it contains most of the juice and pulp anyway—you won’t be losing out on too much flavor or nutrients this way.
Watch out for pineapple leaves, though. They are poisonous and should be avoided!
Pineapple juice generally lasts for 1-2 days in the fridge, but juicing one pineapple will make enough juice for four or five martinis, so I recommend just juicing the whole thing and saving the leftover juice.
There are tons of pineapple juice martini recipes that you can try out if you have too much leftover pineapple juice, but it’s also delicious to drink in the morning!
To make pineapple juice, simply cut up 4 cups of fresh pineapple, which is roughly 2 pineapples.
Chop your fruits into pieces small enough so that you can insert them inside the juicer chute without any problems; remove leaves and hard inner cores as you may not be able to extract all the valuable juices from them using your usual juicer guards or screens (even if they have wide holes). If possible, cut your fruits into smaller pieces that will fit well inside the juicer’s chute.
The resulting juice should be free of lumps (though it might have small chunks in it).
Pour the blended mixture through a wire-mesh strainer to remove any remaining solids—if you didn’t already strain your fruit while juicing, you can easily do this step by placing a metal sieve over another large mixing bowl and pouring your prepared pineapple juice into it; as most of the pulp will be in the container, just keep pouring until it’s all gone. You can also use cheesecloth for straining your juice instead of a wire-mesh sieve.
If using a blender to juice and strain fruits, you might have to pour the mixture into another large mixing bowl as when done, you will only end up with about 1/4 cup or so of liquid; this is because blenders are prone to chugging down liquids that are too thick (such as pineapple puree) faster than they should causing them to overheat and shut off after only blending for 10 seconds or so.
You want to make sure that your pineapple juice is super smooth for this French martini, as in no chunks at all! If you have to blend or juice multiple times, it’s definitely worth it.
While basil isn’t one of the classic French martini ingredients, I added it and found that it made a huge difference.
I almost always want some type of herb flavor in my cocktails. The essence of herb flavors is subtle yet inviting and I find that even infusing liquor with an herb adds a great savory flavor to almost any cocktail.
I was initially hesitant about using basil with pineapple juice, but after trying it, I 100% recommend adding basil to your French martini recipe. It makes a huge difference.
Not only do I find that herbs are extra yummy in cocktails, but they’re trendy right now. Go to a high-end cocktail bar in any city and you’re sure to find that many cocktails on the menu now have herbs in the ingredient list.
This is a relatively new development, but I like to keep up with the trends, so I add basil to my French martini recipe. The choice is yours!
There’s more instructions about how to muddle the basil down in the French martini recipe section.
French Martini Garnish
There aren’t any specific rules about a particular French martini garnish, so I tried out a few different ideas. If you scroll through this post, you’ll see that I at first garnished my martinis with just raspberries, then added basil later.
I liked having the simplicity of two raspberries on the drink, but also enjoyed letting my basil sit in the French martini and continue to infuse the drink while sipping on it!
You can easily garnish your French martini with a chunk of pineapple as well, or nothing at all if you prefer your drinks smooth and plain.
There really aren’t any rules as to how you should garnish a typical French martini cocktail. If you do some research, you’ll find that the French martini recipe garnishes have always varied based on location and server.
I use these super simple cocktail picks from Amazon regardless of what garnish I choose. They’ve held up really well, haven’t rusted, and are under $10!
How to Make a French Martini Recipe Frothy
What good is a martini if it isn’t frothy?
My biggest pet peeve is when you’re reading a recipe post and one essential piece is left out. In the case of this super simple French Martini recipe, a good amount of frothiness makes a world of difference!
First of all, you really can’t make this French Martini without a shaker. It’s literally impossible to get a good level of frothiness if you don’t have a real shaker. You can certainly add all the flavors in, but it won’t really be the traditional cocktail and certainly won’t be made well.
I use a simple silver shaker from Amazon that is under $20 and comes with a measurement cup, but you can find a great one at Home Goods or Target as well.
One you have all of your ingredients in the shaker with a good amount of ice, you’ll need to close the top and shake it for a good while.
I always say that you shake it until your fingers start to freeze (you’ll feel the shaker get incredibly cold) and your arm hurts. After that, I always shake it for 5 extra seconds just to be sure.
Lastly, don’t actually pour the martini through the strainer on the top. Instead, you’ll need to take the top off and move it slightly sideways so that there’s a small hole between the cap and the edge of the cup. You can filter the actual drink through that space without pouring the ice and basil bits into the martini glass.
If you strain the drink through the holes on the top of the shaker, it will filter the foam out as well, so you want to strain it manually instead.
Keep in mind that if you’re serving your martinis very shaken and well-chilled, it will be hard to get a lot of the foam out. Which is good!
I recommend that you use a spoon to gently stir your cocktail–this breaks up some of the larger bubbles, but there’s still going to be tons of tiny ones that will float around in the top layer. The smaller bubbles make everything look more elegant and appealing–so don’t worry if you can’t get rid of all those big ones!
In general, try to shake every cocktail for about 10 minutes before serving.
French Martini vs. Pineapple Juice Martini vs. Raspberry Martini
It can be kind of confusing why a French Martini actually has this specific name when it’s basically a pineapple juice martini or even a raspberry martini with a hint of pineapple. So what’s the difference?
A French Martini recipe is basically what I’ve been talking about this whole time, but it generally includes Chambord, vodka, and pineapple juice. There are many variations on the French martini recipe.
Regardless of how you choose to make it, the French martini recipe is the most classic and well-known recipe on this list.
Pineapple Juice Martini
A pineapple juice martini is a little more flexible. You can make it with pineapple juice (obviously), any type of liqueur (orange, raspberry, lemon, etc.), lime juice, lemon juice, cherry juice, or basically anything else you’d want to add. So a French Martini cocktail is a version of a pineapple juice martini, but is a specific cocktail rather than a category.
Similar to a pineapple juice martini, a raspberry martini is more of a general category that can be made in a variety of ways. Some martini bars will use fresh raspberry puree, while others will use Chambord or a different type of raspberry liqueur.
A French Martini cocktail is a type of a raspberry martini recipe, but it’s a little more specific, specifically because it has pineapple juice in it.
What Is a French Kiss Martini?
Strangely enough, a French Kiss Martini is the same thing as a French Martini. Sometimes a French Kiss Martini has a little extra Chambord, but the ingredients are generally the same.
This exact combo of ingredients can also be called a Flirtini, something that was super popular in the 90s but is more so known as a French Martini now.
If you’re ordering this drink out, what you call it will totally depend on the bartender, so it’s good to have all of the names on deck just in case! I find that it’s most commonly called a regular French Martini or a Flirtini, but isn’t as commonly known as a French Kiss Martini.
Tips For Making A Delicious Martini:
First, you need a good shaker. If you don’t have one, get one. You definitely want to shake your martini using a Boston shaker. The shaking uses more of the cocktail in a better way than stirring.
The right glassware is also necessary for a great effect. Use a 5-6 ounce glass with tall sides, because you’ll be adding an ounce or two of refrigerated liquid (ice) and don’t want too much spillage. If you’ve got nice stemware you’re proud of, by all means use it!
But if not, just get some simple glassware at Target that will do the job well. I like having a few different kinds around–for example, I always keep my fancy glasses right next to my supplies so I can use whatever’s closest.
You can use a variety of different liquids for a martini–vodka, gin, or tequila all work. But I like to stick with the classics, and I personally think that vodka is best for this drink. That said, it’s important to consider your audience!
For example, if you’re going to be entertaining at home and your friends know you make killer cocktails…maybe skip the vodka and try some brandy instead (mixing brandy with vermouth in equal parts will give it more of an amber color). Or if you’re going to be out at a restaurant having dinner with friends and family, maybe you’ll want something fruitier than straight liquor.
One thing you need when making a good martini is lots of ice. A couple of cubes will just get the drink cold–you need enough to keep it chilling for a while (this means…a lot).
I recommend using crushed ice in order to get as much dilution as possible, but even then it can take a long time to chill. When you’re making cocktails, think about how cold you’ll want the final product. The key is getting everything chilled well before serving your drinks!
The French Martini Recipe
Without further ado, here’s the full recipe! Feel free to switch up these portions – this is just my personal preference after experimenting with different combinations.
I like my martinis to be very fresh and fruity without tasty overly sweet. I also like a medium amount of alcohol (I want to taste it without feeling overpowered with each sip). In my opinion, this recipe combo achieves that perfectly!
- .75 ounces Chambord
- 2 ounces (2 shots) Vodka
- 2.5 ounces fresh pineapple juice
- 4 sprigs of basil
- A pinch of sugar
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the basil, a pinch of sugar, and a tablespoon of water. Gently crush the basil with a spoon 8-10 times to release the flavors.
- Add ice to the shaker (to fill it halfway) and combine the rest of the ingredients on top of the ice.
- Shake the cocktail for 20 seconds, or until the shaker gets icy cold. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with raspberries or basil.
-If you want extra fresh raspberry puree, feel free to muddle a few raspberries along with the basil during step 1.
-I recommend using fresh pineapple juice (I juice a whole pineapple using my juicer and that amount makes 4-5 drinks) but you can use canned as well.
A History Of The French Martini Cocktail:
The history of the French Martini recipe dates back to the 1800’s. The first published mention of a French Martini was in 1885 when it was referred to as “Martinez”.
In the late 1800’s, a writer made note of a French Martini recipe from an 18th century cookbook. The earliest known recipes for the French Martini date back to 1860.
The exact origins of the French martini cocktail in the United States are not known. The drink was being served in New York by 1919, when it is mentioned in “How to Mix Drinks”, by Robert Vermeire.
By 1930 or so it had been spotted in Chicago as well, appearing in barman Oma Starr’s Bar Manual. A slightly different approach to the recipe was taken here, calling for 1 part gin, 3 parts vermouth and 2 dashes orange bitters; these are stirred over ice until cold and then strained into a chilled glass.
This same recipe appeared in The Savoy Cocktail Book published by Harry Craddock in 1930, giving it a boost of popularity that helped secure its position as one of the most popular martinis still around today.
By this time it had also crossed the Atlantic to Paris again where it is found in the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book from 1927, again calling for Plymouth gin and dry vermouth. The recipe does not include orange bitters, but instead calls for a dash of Angustora bitters.
The next version was published by Charles Baker in his 1934 book The Gentleman’s Companion. It matches that of Harry Craddock except it omits the biter entirely; it was already moving toward drierness, with 2 parts gin to 1 part vermouth and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist.
This remained the standard French Martini recipe for almost half a century, as reflected in such books as Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), The New York Times Bartender’s Guide by Ted Haigh (2003) , and David A. Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948).
The first change to this recipe came from Trader Vic who substituted dry vermouth with Dubonnet Rouge in his Bartender’s Guide which was printed in 1951; it was likely amended after that date since he died in October of that year. This change was likely to have been due to the war rationing of vermouth, out of which Dubonnet was not included, and it caught on with other authorities.
The second change came from the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book published by Lucius Beebe in 1937, using dry vermouth as well – but this time omitting the bitters (perhaps because he felt they were too much work for a home bar).
This remained the standard French Martini recipe for over 30 years until finally, about 15 years ago, the French Martini was amended to use dry vermouth and served up. This change became widespread following its adoption in Dale DeGroff’s The Craft of the Cocktail (1993) , along with a number of other ‘modern’ interpretations of drinks that were well established by this time such as the martini itself.
Today you will find many variations on this drink including using different kinds of gin, switching up the vermouths and even adding white crème de menthe to give it an almost green colour – hence its new title as the French green cocktail.
In days gone by, cognac was added to sweet vermouth and shaken with ice before being served in a cocktail glass. Many people now consider it one of the nectar glasses.
The French Martini recipe was also known as the “Nippy,” meaning it contained both dry and sweet Vermouth, even though we don’t always make it this way now. It’s been said that Nippys were served during prohibition because they have such low alcohol content.
However, the French Martini is a perfectly respectable cocktail that is simply made from gin and vermouth without any added bitters or other flavorings. In fact, it’s one of my personal favorites!
Most people generally enjoyed the French Martini because it wasn’t as expensive as champagne. It still gave folks the same upscale vibe, even though it was cheaper. Today, this obviously isn’t the case!
I found these martini glasses at Home Goods so I can’t link the exact product, but I found these options that are almost identical at Home Depot; they’re available for online shipping as well.
Cheers to a delicious, fresh cocktail!