Some cocktail ingredients seem so classic, it’s hard to believe they haven’t been around for centuries. Such is the case with Chambord — the venerable raspberry liqueur that first came to market little more than three decades ago in 1982. It’s allegedly fashioned after a liqueur made in the Loire Valley in the late 1600s and to whatever extent that’s true, it’s a pleasure to use in cocktails. Made from red and black raspberries, Madagascar vanilla and XO cognac, it’s as easy-drinking as they come: sweet, low-proof, and velvety-smooth.
As with many fruit liqueurs, the key to using Chambord is balance. Pour too much, and all you’ll taste is raspberry sweetness. But pour it judiciously and you’re in for some excellent drinkg. Give it a try in these three.
Easy: Chambord Kir Royale
While a Kir is traditionally made with the blackcurrant-based creme de cassis, Chambord is similarly hued and brings similar dark-fruit flavors. A half-ounce gives us just the level of fruit flavor we’re after, but feel free to adjust to your taste.
Instructions: In a champagne flute or coupe, pour in 1/2 an ounce of Chambord and top with 4 ounces of sparkling wine. Garnish with a raspberry.
Intermediate: Chambord Martini
We’re sliding Chambord into a classic 2:1 gin-vermouth martini. The liqueur gives the cocktail body, a gorgeous color, and not so much dark-fruit flavor that the gin can’t still shine through.
Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of gin, 3/4 of an ounce of Chambord, 3/4 of an ounce of dry vermouth, and a dash of orange bitters. Stir all that up until very well-chilled and the ice begins to melt. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel, making sure to twist it over the surface of the drink to spray its citrus oils on top, plus a few raspberries.
Advanced: Chambord-Scotch Sour
If you don’t think Scotch can star in summer cocktails, this drink will prove you wrong — a lively shake of blended Scotch, Chambord, lemon, and simple syrup. As refreshing as they get, so drink responsibly—these guys are fully loaded.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces of blended Scotch, 1 ounce of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 3/4 of an ounce of Chambord, 1/4 of an ounce of simple syrup (equal part sugar cut with hot water and stirred until it’s dissolved), and one dash of orange bitters. Shake that all up hard, and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a few lemon triangles.