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It still amazes me that one of my favourite liqueurs is still not that well known in the UK, however I have noticed over the last few years that it is steadily getting stocked in more and more restaurants and supermarkets, so perhaps the tide is starting to turn. The drink I am referring to is of course Chambord!
So Chambord is a French liqueur, with its inspiration being rumoured to have been introduced to the French King Louis XIV during a visit to the Chateau de Chambord in the Loive Valley and has allegedly been produced there since the late 17th century. The drink itself is a black raspberry liqueur, made with a secret blend of black raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, and Madagascan vanilla with cognac as its base spirit. It is 16.5% alcohol by volume.
The drink is available in several sized bottles, with the standard 700ml one costing around £20 from several online retailers. Sadly on the High Street and in supermarkets, those who do stock it tend to only stock the smaller 200ml bottle, which costs around the £6 mark. One thing I would say is that although this is a very small bottle, the nature of the drink means that you don't really need a massive amount each time so even this should last you a while. The prices put Chambord on a par with most other spirit or liqueur drinks and so isn't overly expensive in general comparison.
The bottle of Chambord is one of the most distinctive things about this drink. Firstly it comes in a stiff cardboard box, with two see through sides so you can see the bottle itself. The box has the legend in both English and French on it, and the fact that it comes in a little box gives it that look of something a little bit special. The bottle itself is uniquely spherical, with the dark liquid visible through it. Older bottles had a gold ribbon with the Chambord name and logo tied around it, but this seems to have been ditched in favour of a slightly less exciting strip glued onto the bottle. The lid is also quite ornately designed with a gold and red pattern on it, which just adds to the look of sophistication. Around the top you get a little recipe booklet for cocktail ideas for the drink, which I think is a nice little added touch.
So as you can probably tell I am quite keen on the design of the packaging and the little neat touches, but I am not one to fall for style over substance, and I know that this drink should and will live or die based upon the taste. On opening the bottle and inhaling, you are met with a wonderfully subtle yet satisfying aroma of sweet raspberries. There isn't much of an indication of alcohol from the scent, or anything else for that matter, just the raspberries, which has the effect of setting your taste buds going. When you take your first sip, again the only noticeable taste is that of a subtle yet immensely flavoursome raspberry drink. It doesn't taste very alcoholic, there is no aftertaste of spirit or warming of your throat, it just tastes like a high quality raspberry drink. It is incredibly sweet, so those of you that do not like things too sweet may not be too keen on this on its own, but for everyone else it really is tasty, and to my eyes a perfect drink on its own or over ice for a late summer / early autumn evening.
Now as I said earlier, the bottle comes with a little recipe card, which probably gave it away that this drink is perfect to be used in cocktails, and indeed that is correct, with my favourite by far being to mix a small amount of Chambord in a champagne flute and mix with either a sparkling wine or Prosecco. You don't need much of the liqueur or you will overpower the wine, but it tastes a treat and adds a nice fruity note to a cheaper bottle of sparkling wine. However this is the drink that most people who have heard of Chambord would have tried. Other uses for Chambord are plenty, and it is so versatile I will list just a few of them. Firstly put it in with some lemonade for a low alcohol lemon and raspberry drink. Secondly, use in deserts such as over ice cream instead of raspberry sauce, or use a little in with a raspberry trifle. So in short be creative and this really is a liqueur with many more uses than a simple drink or mixer.
So to sum this one up, I would say that Chambord is an underrated liqueur that deserves bigger exposure in the UK. It is very versatile and can be used in numerous cocktails, deserts or anything else you can think of! It is deliciously sweet and captures the taste of raspberries perfectly and with the style and elegance of the bottle, looks like you are adding a little style and sophistication to any drinks cabinet or collection. I would recommend this to anyone (Well anyone over 18 anyways!) and urge you if you haven't already to go out and try a little Chambord.
Thanks for reading this and it also appears on Ciao under my same username.
Chambord Liqueur was introduced in the 17th Century but it not an exceedingly popular drink these days and I can't help but wonder why.
I don't often have the money to splash on bottles of liquor that aren't smartprice - aka paintstripper - but I never regretted a moment of forking out of dosh for a bottle of the finest Chambord.
It is more often than not used in cocktails these days, and the reason I bought it was because I was hosting a cocktail party.
The bottle is divine, exquisite and begs to be bought in the most classy manner. So much so that I have not thrown my bottle away, I cannot bear to part with it.
The drink itself is sweet and fruitful and reminds me somewhat of fruit pastels. Only in a much more sophisticated, adult form.
Mixed with lemonade the drink is nothing but a poisonous liquid sweetie.
Chambord creates some of the most dizzyingly tasteful cocktails including the Raspberry Daiquiri and, my favourite cocktail, the French Martini.
It can be bought in most supermarkets but is cheaper to buy online.
I had always admired this exquisite looking bottle whenever I seen it in bars but never really knew what it was put into or how you drank it so I was pleased to receive a little bottle of it as a Xmas pressie this year.
The bottle is a very unusual and antiquated looking globe shape with a gold metal band which runs around the middle proclaiming the name. The lid, which screws on and off, is a very regal crown shape so the bottle is very expensive looking itself.
This dark berry coloured liqueur has a really strong blackcurrant/rasperry smell - I think it smells like ribena. Attached was a little label which stated that you can add this to champagne (or even fizzy wine would work) or mix it into various cocktails containing vodka and fruit juice (pineapple or cranberry for example). When you add a little dribble into champagne, it gives a nice muted berry tinge and the sweetness of it takes away the bitterness of the alcohol a little. I also mixed this with Baileys (as I seen it on a cocktail list in a bar) and milk to make what was called a strawberry cheescake and it was ovely. Although it smells really strongly of berry, it is actually quite a mild flavour and so blends nicely.
It is around £7 for a 20cl bottle so it's quite reasonable as 20cl is plenty since you use only a small amount each time.
Those of you who have read my other reviews will know that thanks to my French girlfriend and her parents I am being introduced to a whole host of French treats. In this vein I bring to you, Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur.
The liqueur is a deep black / indigo colour and has a rich fruity flavour. Chambord is similar to Crème de Framboise, but a more decadent and luxurious version. The manufacturers say that it is made using blackberries, raspberries, honey and Madagascan vanilla and all 4 flavours come through wonderfully well. It is fantastic on the rocks or with a mixer.
You can mix Chambord with Champagne to make a KIr Imperial (simply mix 15ml of Chambord with a glass of Champagne). If, like me, you are not awash with spare bottles of Champagne, you can use wine instead. I have been drinking it with rose all week which gives the wine a sweet, fruity flavour. I really like the taste of Chambord so have been using a bit more of it than is prescribed in the Kir Imperial recipe.
The liqueur itself is exquisitely packaged and presented. The bottle is ornately decorated and looks more like an antique perfume bottle. The short, stout bottle is gilded with fake (obviously!) gold livery and the screw cap resembles a crown. It looks superb on the drinks cabinet!
The bottle is very small at only 20cl (that's 8 25ml shots!). I brought mine from Waitrose and paid £6.99 for it. Mine came in a special edition pack with a free nail varnish, which made a nice present for the misses.
Here are some ideas for other ways to drink Chambord:
Chambord Martini - 50 ml of Vodka, 15ml of Chambord, 60 ml of pineapple juice. Shake and serve
Chambord Margarita - 25 ml of tequila, 15 ml of Chambord, 90 ml of sweet and sour mix
Raspberry Fizz - 25ml of vodka, 15 ml of Chambord and soda water
Chambord is great for livening up traditional cocktails. At 16.5% it won't blow your head off and isn't too overpowering. I would certainly recommend it as an essential addition to any respectable drink cabinet!
I discovered Chambord quite recently and now make sure I always have a bottle at home as its really versatile and tastes wonderful !
Its a dark raspberry liquer in the most exquisite "regal" looking bottle... but its only around £6.99 for 20cl from Asda and most other supermarkets and off licences.
It has a rich, very sweet smooth texture, some say like velvet.
It can be drunk on its own (very sweet indeed) or over ice which makes it much more palateable or over ice cream - wow !
For me, its also the secret ingredient in lots of cocktail recipes including:
French Vanilla Martini
Candy Apple Martini
Chambord Lemon Drop Royale
Here is my tried and tested version of Chambord , for me, doing what it does best in a French Vanilla Martini !
Get some friends together and have fun mixing up the following:
- half punnet of fresh strawberries
- half punnet of fresh rasperries
- 50 ml Absolut Vanilla Vodka
- 15ml Chambord
- 60 ml Fresh pineapple juice
- 30 ml Fresh cranberry juice (low sugar)
Liquidise together and serve over ice in a tall glass on a red hot day - delicious !!
Not that I am addicted of course, but I have also used Chambord to cook with. Its a great secret ingredient in sweet and sour sauce to accompany chicken or pork.
Can't rate it highly enough as you will see.
If you have a bit of a sweet tooth when it comes to drinks. This is the perfect solution. This is a liquer make from black raspberries. So its wuite fruity but has a sweet edge, a bit like jam actually.
That reminds me, this drink is perfect as a jam donought, I don't mean start cooking donuts and filling them with chambord! no no. Its a great shot, not too strong and easy to swallow without guerning like a weirdo. Basically ask for a shot glass, in a bar, see if they can rim the glass with gomme syryp and then dip it in sugar, then get them to fill the glass three quaters with chambord and the rest thick cream...mmmmmmmm it is like drinking a shot from heaven.
This Liquer would be good in desserts but I'm not a great cook so you might have to look online for recepies. You can find this in your supermarket somewhere close by to the malibu I think.
The bottle it comes in is also really pretty and makes a great present.
Okey dokes folks. This is an opinion about 'Chambord' it's a French liqueur made with balck raspberries. I spied in one of my (many) Christmas 'home idea's' magazines the most beautiful bottled liqueur, the picture literally whet my appetite. My desire to find it was unfortunately quashed by the fact that none of the main supermarkets actually sold it. But, while wandering in the newsagents in my office building (which is also a brilliant wine merchant) looking for a bottle of wine I spied this handsome liqueur on one of the higher shelves. Surprise surprise, there is no category on DooYoo for it just yet, so I've put it in the most appropriate place (which probably isn't) but hey-ho, to quote Forrest Gump "Stoopid is as stoopid does" (I will get it moved though when a category for it is created) -~-~-~-Packaging-~-~-~- The first thing I noticed about this drink is that it is in a beautiful box, the box is about the height of a DVD case; width and depth-wise it's slightly smaller than a CD case (guess who lost her ruler ;o)) It's a very regal blue - almost black, with tiny gold fleur-de-lese printed all over it. Also, on both the front and the two sides of the box there are cellophane windows in the shape of church windows. Through the windows you could clearly see the bottle, which is something beautiful to behold. The actual bottle is almost like a sphere with a small base and a slightly longer neck. The bottle is crowned (literally) with a gold crown, similar to one you would find on a good quality chess piece. As well as the crown the bottle is donning a gold 'belt' for want of a better word made up of the letters of the name of the liqueur. The belt is fashioned to a similar 'necklace' (which I assume is to hold it on!) If Budweiser is the 'King of Beers' **then this is truly the 'King of Liqueurs' (from the fashion point-of-view anyway)
The actual liquid is a very dark red, similar to that of a ruby port. You cannot see through the liquid until you hold it up to the light, and the colour that is reflected through is blood red. -~-~-~-Background Info-~-~-~- A little bit of background I suppose wouldn't go amiss, but not knowing a great deal about this spirit prior to my purchase (as I write this I haven't even tasted it!) I'll quote from the enclosed 'recipe book' yep, these French think of everything. Obviously they know that we haven?t all heard of their liqueur and provide us with a small book on cocktails and serving suggestions (yum) "In the glorious time of King Louis XIV, the nobility of France journeyed to their great châteaux where they had feasts crowned by elegant liqueurs. In the tradition of this historic time, Chambord is a magnificent liqueur made with rich framboise (small black raspberries) and other fruits and herbs combined with delicious honey." Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again one of my rules in life is to never drink anything that was not once supped by a French Royal so looks like this is OK for Fishbulb then. ;o) Brian (the local wine expert and owner of aforementioned shop) and I had an in-depth conversation about this drink when I purchased it and told me that it is most popular drink with champagne, in a similar fashion to a Kir Royale. Fine by me, I thought, but not so much for my 'end of month purse syndrome' so along with my Chambord I purchased a quality Cava, which I always find a suitable alternative to champagne (on those occasions when the mind says yes, but the credit card says no) -~-~-~-Taste-~-~-~- After opening the bottle and taking a good sniff, the smell of raspberries is wonderful; there is a slight edge to the smell with both sweet and almost slightly bitter scents coming through. The smell reminds me of a summer garden after
a light rainfall. Although earthy is probably not a word I think should be associated with this drink it certainly has elements of plants coming through in th e bouquet although I can?t quite put my finger on the exact smell it has a distinctive 'jammy' smell to it. And an almost sage-like smell, to be honest, it reminds me of Christmas (which isn't a bad thing) In the interests of a fair opinion I will try the liqueur on it's own before adding it to any other drink to give you a full idea of the flavour. ~~~On it's own~~~ Taste wise, sounds a bit strange, but it tastes exactly like it smells! There is a medicinal taste, but not a bad one. Reminiscent of my childhood and cough syrup! It leaves a ring around the glass, as it is a sugary drink, although like a good wine, it is gone fairly sharpish. This sweet drink would lend itself particularly well as an aperitif. It would even be comfortable taking the place of a more traditional after dinner brandy or port. I myself would perhaps even serve this alongside the cheese course after a meal. ~~~With Bubbles~~~ WOW! I'm impressed, I've worked in cocktail bars before and drinks I've had a few, but the combination of this liqueur and Champagne (or in this case Cava) is outstanding. The colour is obviously diluted a great deal by the Champagne and I expected that it would maintain a purplish red, yet it has almost taken on a tint of orange. The actual taste is exquisite the dry effervescence of the cava is cut through with a tart raspberry taste, I can detect an apple and citrus flavour coming through with the combination of taste. There is a slight aftertaste of pure fruit. This is all in all an extremely pleasing amalgamation of flavours. -~-~-~-Miscellaneous Information-~-~-~- This drink comes in at only 33% proof (that's only 16.5% to you and me. To give you an idea of comparative measure, Archers? comes in
at 23% and your average bottle of wine ranks between about 8.5% for something like a Riesling to around 13.5% for a nice Merlot so drinking this isn't going to make you very drunk, it's the equivalent of slurping shots of wine! It's also only a 50cl bottle, that's the same as two thirds of a (standard sized) bottle of wine. I have also been informed that this would probably be best if drunk within the year (from your opening the bottle), I'm not sure how true this is or why, but as it's not a large bottle I can see that this would not be a problem! As I'm sure I may have stated previously this is a product of France, although not typically stocked by your local friendly supermarket, it would probably be worth your while speaking to a good quality wine merchant to see if they can order it in for you. Failing that, the sole UK distributor is Malcolm Cowen Ltd Unit C Western Trading Estate Estate Road London NW10 7PJ TEL: 0208 965 1937 FAX: 0208 961 3501 -~-~-~-Verdict-~-~-~- Don?t be put off of this as being 'sweet' it is deceptively full of flavour and very well balanced, while writing this op I have been steadily sipping my Chambord (first on it's own, now with Champagne) and the flavour almost seems to change each time. Each time I take a sip my senses detect different ingredients and smells. I cannot believe I didn't find this before. It is an ideal mixer for many cocktails and the parents-in-law have a tradition that on Christmas morning they have Mimosa (Bucks Fizz) well?..Christmas is in the Fishbulb house this year, they can drink all the Bucks Fizz they like, I know what I will be drinking. (Assuming there is some left *hic*) **Fishbulb personally does not believe that 'Budweiser' is the king of beers, the prince or even the knave, perhaps the 2nd footman of a distant cousin.
Traditional French Liqueur made with black rasperries, herbs and honey and dates back around the time of Kind Louis XIV.