Learn all about Chambord, the French black raspberry liqueur. Sweet and tart, this garnet-colored spirit is delicious in drinks like the champagne cocktail or a French martini.
If you’ve ever had Chambord black raspberry liqueur, you’ll know that it’s a delicious addition to any cocktail it’s used in.
With the taste of sweet-tart raspberries, this velvety French liqueur made with cognac adds a jam-like quality that isn’t too sugary. Sipped on its own, you can taste the French cognac, honey, orange zest and Madagascar vanilla.
What is Chambord?
Pronounced “sham-boar” (with a silent “d”) Chambord is a fruity, brandy-based liqueur made in the Loire Valley of France from a bevy of natural ingredients, including black raspberries, red raspberries, blackberries and blackcurrants. It also has notes of vanilla, citrus and honey.
Though they look like blackberries, black raspberries are a type of raspberry with a deeper red, almost onyx hue, more seeds and a stronger flavor that’s sweet yet tart. They are native to North America and Europe.
Sweet like candy, this premium black raspberry liqueur is mainly used to sweeten cocktails. It is most famously used in the French Martini, but it can be used in other drinks as well.
The signature round bottle with the gold lid and label (bearing the tagline “Royale de France”) can be seen on bars across the United States and around the world, and drinking it will make you feel like French royalty.
How is Chambord made?
The Chambord recipe is based on a 1600s-era French raspberry liqueur recipe. It was first made popular in the late 17th century. It is said that King Louis XIV was given this liqueur during one of his annual visits to the region.
Chambord is made in the Loire Valley. According to Chambord themselves, this is how the Chambord recipe is made:
- Juices from the blackberries, raspberries and blackcurrants are extracted then infused with French spirits. They infuse for four weeks to draw out the rich flavors, then go through a second infusion.
- Next, after six weeks, the infusion of raspberries is pressed to pull out more juices to make a base for the Chambord.
- Then the berries are blended with berry flavor from black raspberries and other varietals, as well as with more of the finest ingredients for extra flavor. Their recipe includes real XO Cognac, Madagascan vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel and honey.
Who owns Chambord?
Brown-Forman purchased Chambord in 2006. One of the largest liquor companies in the world, Brown-Forman also represents a number of big alcohol and beverage brands including Old Forester bourbon, Jack Daniels whiskey, El Jimador tequila, Finlandia vodka and Woodford Reserve bourbon.
The premium liqueur is made at La Sistiere Chateau in Cour-Cheverny, and gets its name from the nearby castle, Chateau de Chambord.
How much is Chambord liqueur?
A smaller, 375 ml bottle of Chambord will run you around $20-25 in most liquor stores. A larger 750 ml bottle will cost $30-35.
Keep in mind that different countries and U.S. states have different laws around taxes and pricing for imported alcohol, so the prices may vary based on your location.
How much alcohol is in Chambord?
Chambord is 33-proof, which is around 16.5% alcohol. That considered to be somewhat low alcohol content.
Substitutions for Chambord
Though a natural raspberry liqueur, the flavor of Chambord can be replicated in a number of ways in cocktails. Use one of these fruity liqueurs as a Chambord substitute:
- raspberry schnapps
- raspberry vodka
- raspberry syrup
You can also use a few similar berry flavored liquors as well:
- crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
- crème de mure (blackberry liqueur)
Though any of these would lack the unique flavor of the original Chambord, any of them would still make a great substitute for Chambord.
Non-alcoholic Chambord liqueur
At the time of publication, there is no a zero-proof raspberry liqueur available. However, we will update this here if we find one.
In the meantime, you can make raspberry shrub or raspberry simple syrup in a cocktail. You may also use raspberry juice if you can find it.
For a non-alcoholic substitute for Chambord, use 1 ounce of the shrub, syrup or juice and add in 1½ ounces of a zero-proof spirit such as this Ritual gin alternative.
Chambord can be sipped on its own or it can be mixed into a number of alcoholic beverages. It pairs well with a neutral spirit like vodka or rum, but it can also work with more flavorful spirits like bourbon and gin. It’s an essential spirit for any home bar, and I’m sure it will soon be part of your favorite cocktails.
Here are a few Chambord cocktails to try:
The French martini is one of the most famous Chambord cocktails of all, bringing the heart of France into one of the classic cocktails.
Raspberry Mint Kir Royale is a champagne cocktail made with mint simple syrup to pair with Chambord.
The Chambord Royale is another famous one made with the fruit flavors of cranberry juice and pineapple juice for a refreshing treat.
This refreshing Raspberry Moscow Mule features vodka and Chambord along with ginger beer and lime juice.
This Chambord Margarita combines tequila and raspberry for a delicious drink on Margarita Night.
This Chocolate Raspberry Martini is a real treat. Who doesn’t love chocolate and raspberries together?!
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