So many things are uniquely identified as being French: French manicures, French vanilla, and French poodles, just to name a few. Chambord Vodka is no exception. Distilled just a few hours south of France in the Loire Valley, this perfectly balanced French vodka is light and sweet with hints of vanilla and hibiscus flower intermingled with black raspberry.
While Chambord liqueur itself has long been a staple for bartenders and home-mixologists, the company’s emergence into the flavored vodka arena happened only about a year ago. The delicate pink vodka with its October “Pink Your Drink” breast cancer ad campaign is mostly marketed to attract young female drinkers, and is still bottled in the iconic spherical shaped bottle accented with gold, but it has been revamped with a more contemporary design. The neck of the bottle has been redesigned to allow for easier pouring, which was a common complaint about the old design. The overall look of the bottle lends itself to the presence of royalty.
Our “French Poodle” cocktail has been mixed with a lovely lavender infused simple syrup, which compliments the vanilla and floral notes in the vodka. Lavender is a Mediterranean plant that is most popular for its aromatic purple blooms and therapeutic properties. Lavender fields cover the plateau of Sault, France and the scent is strongest in the heat of summer, from mid-June to early August. The flowers are harvested and dried and used for a variety of things, including medicinal and culinary purposes as well as for home décor.
A .35-ounce tin of dried lavender flowers can be purchased at Charlotte area locations of Dean and Deluca for just under $5, or if you’d like to visit lavender farms in the surrounding area, Sunshine Lavender Farm is located in Orange County, NC and Mountain Farm is in Burnsville, NC.
To make the simple syrup, combine one cup of water and one cup of sugar and simmer just until the sugar melts. Stir in three tablespoons of dried lavender and cover. Once syrup has cooled completely, you may strain the buds or leave them in the syrup, which makes for more intense flavoring. Keep the syrup in the refrigerator for up to a week.
1 ounce Chambord Vodka
1/2 ounce lavender infused simple syrup
Juice from a freshly squeezed lemon
1 pinch of sea salt
Combine vodka, simple syrup and lemon juice in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon and add a pinch of sea salt directly into the drink itself.
I like to have a martini, two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host ~ Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
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