Chambord is one sexy drink; just look at the bottle and the colour of the drink. It is a beautiful purple-red French liqueur made with blackberries, raspberries, Madagascan vanilla and Moroccan citrus peel, in a base of French XO Cognac. Apparently, it was inspired by a black raspberry liqueur that was made for King Louis the XIV on his visit to Chateau Chambord in the Loire Valley.
There seems to be a little confusion over the berries that are used in Chambord. Repeat after me: Chambord is made with raspberries and blackberries.
Many sites erroneously state that Chambord is made of black raspberries and red raspberries.
What are black raspberries, you ask.
Rubus Occidentalis, the black raspberry, is native to NE America, and looks just like a raspberry, except that it is black in colour. Quite different from your garden variety blackberry whose individual cells are rather prominent compared to the flatter look of the black raspberry.
And when you look on Chambord’s official website, it is very clearly the blackberry that is in the images used, not to mention the fact that the site clearly says, “the world’s finest blackberries and raspberries are chosen. Then the juices are squeezed, soaked in French spirits and left to mingle for four weeks to surrender their flavour.”
Perhaps the black raspberry theory came about because the drink is called Chambord, Black Raspberry Liqueur.
I think the word black is meant to describe the drink’s hue, and not the berry!
What does Chambord taste like?
Chambord is a true delight to sip and mix in cocktails. Its nose is a complex combination of raspberry, honey, orange and vanilla, reflecting its ingredients. It is a touch sweet with hints of tartness.
At 5%ABV, it is a fairly lightweight liqueur, and is perfect in cocktails but also a delight sipped on its own. If, like me, you like ’em sweet.
How to Drink Chambord?
- It is delicious on ice, and sipped ever so slowly, so one can appreciate all the multitude of flavours and aroma.
- But it is also the “girly” ingredient in a cocktail, like the Chambord Royale (above) and the very easy Halloween cocktail Witch’s Brew, below.
- Chambord is great for ‘dressing up” prosecco, or any sparkling wine, much in the same vein as The Royale. See the recipe card, below.
Chambord and Prosecco
How to Serve Chambord
Any which way you like, in any glass you fancy, depending on when. You can serve it:
- as an aperitif (pre dinner drink) – with prosecco, champagne, any white wine.
- for cocktail hour. Depending on the drink, this can be in a whisky glass, in a cocktail glass, white wine glass or flute
- during dinner – make a large amount in a jug with some prosecco, some raspberries and lots of ice. Or go half prosecco, half sparkling water. Or the Witch’s Brew is also perfect, served in a jug.
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