The French Martini is the drink that helped to kick off the flavored Martini craze of the ’90s. The cocktail was brought to prominence in NYC restauranteur Keith McNally’s Balthazar, where it appeared on the menu after being placed on the menu in one of his other establishments.
It’s sweet and creamy due to the pineapple juice and Chambord black raspberry liqueur. The primary spirit is vodka, though sometimes rum is used instead.
This recipe was created by venerable bartender Allen Katz and uses crème de cassis liqueur in lieu of Chambord. This imparts a deeper flavor from the currants that are a bit less sweet than raspberries. So this French Martini tends to be a little more spirit-forward and complex.