What is Chambord? An Expert Guide to the French Liqueur

By Timo Torner / Last updated on August 21, 2023

Chambord is a popular French black raspberry liqueur with a cognac base that's commonly served in cocktails or on its own.
What is Chambord

The liqueur of 16.5% ABV has a deep purple hue and is an essential ingredient in cocktails and other drinks due to its tart and sweet raspberry flavor; For example, in classics like the French Martini or Kir Royale. It is versatile and goes well with dark, aged spirits like brandy, bourbon, or whiskey but also with unaged liquor like gin or vodka. It works best in combination with a spirit base and acidic ingredients like lemon or lime juice to balance the sweetness in Chambord liqueur.

If you've been to the Loire valley before, you may know that Chambord is not only the name of a liqueur but also a town in said valley. The black raspberry liqueur is produced according to an ancient recipe from the 17th century, here at La Sistiere Château - The Château de Chambord. 

Chambord black raspberry liqueur comes in a fancy round bottle with a purple and gold label. It's a great addition to any home bar as it brings elegant raspberry notes to a mixed drink.

How does Chambord taste?

Chambord liqueur served in glass, on the rocks

Chambord liqueur is a premium spirit with a sweet and intensely fruity taste. The raspberry liqueur has a rich flavor with robust notes of fresh raspberry, blackberries, and hints of citrus.

You can also taste the French cognac base in the liqueur, which adds subtle notes of oak and very light hints of vanilla.

The flavors in the liqueur are overall very well-balanced and never too sweet. The hints of vanilla, citrus, and oak shine through, making it beautifully complex.

How is the French liqueur made?

Chambord is an excellent fruit liqueur from France made from blackberries and fresh red raspberries produced from several ingredients in a complex process.


The French liqueur is produced in the Loire valley from berries and other ingredients. The whole list includes:

  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Moroccan citrus peel
  • Madagascar Vanilla
  • Honey
  • Cognac
  • A secret mix of herbs and spices

Step 1 - Extraction & Infusion

Black raspberries that go into the French liqueur

The production process of Chambord uses a base of three so-called juices:

  1. The first of making Chambord liqueur requires steeping raspberries and blackberries in a neutral spirit for six weeks. After that, the liquor is removed, which creates the first and very aromatic "juice."
  2. Another batch of spirits is added to the berries and macerates for another two weeks to extract more flavor. Again, the alcohol is removed, and we have the "second juice."
  3. The third and last juice is acquired by squeezing and pressing the berries.

Step 2 - Blending flavors

The three juices from the first production step are blended to form one aromatic berry infusion. That infusion is then blended with the remaining ingredients like XO Cognac, Madagascan vanilla essence, Moroccan citrus, honey, and the herbs & spice mix.

The master blender is responsible for balancing the ingredients carefully to achieve a consistent taste.

Step 3 - Bottling

During the whole process, only natural ingredients are used. You will find no artificial additives for flavor or color. The resulting liqueur is bottled at 16,5% ABV.

How to drink Chambord liqueur?

Chambord liqueur is best when served chilled or on ice with a splash of chilled soda water, Seltzer, or sparkling wine. Yet the French liqueur is also an excellent liqueur to drink on ice or in cocktails. 

Most popular Chambord cocktails

These are some of the most popular Chambord cocktails, categorized by classic recipes and modern twists.

Classic cocktails

  • French Martini: A fruity twist on the vodka Martini enhanced with raspberry liqueur and pineapple juice.
  • Kir Royale: Sometimes also called Chambord Royale, this drink is made from only Champagne (or another sparkling wine) and the liqueur.
  • Floradora: A classic highball cocktail that's traditionally made with raspberry simple syrup, gin, and ginger beer. Replace the raspberry syrup with Chambord for an elevated drink.

Modern cocktails

  • Chambord raspberry Margarita: This fruity and tart Chambord cocktail is a twist on the Mexican tequila-based drink.
  • Chambord Spritz: A fruity and tangy Spritz cocktail made with Chambord, white wine, and soda water.
  • Chambord Sour: A low-ABV cocktail made with Chambord, lemon juice, egg white, and simple syrup. Add all ingredients into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish it with fresh raspberry.


The Chambord brand isn't really old and established. The product, and therefore also the brand, was developed only in the early 1980s by Norton Cooper at his family's cordial company, Charles Jacquin et Cie.

By the way, Norton Cooper's son Scott also invented another modern classic liqueur, St Germain, back in 2007. Today, St Germain is one of the most popular elderflower liqueurs. 


The origins of Chambord date back to the era of the French Renaissance. The current recipe is derived from an old formula from the Loire valley and dates back to the late 1600s.

As far as the legend goes, even King Louis XIV had a chance to try the original liqueur. At this time, exquisite liqueurs and fine French spirits like Cognac were regular servings alongside lavish meals.

Château de Chambord

Château de Chambord

Today, the Château is the location where Chambord produces its black raspberry liqueur. But, the Château de Chambord itself also has a long and interesting past. 

French kings like Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Napoleon owned it at different times. In World War II, the Germans kept stolen art there. Now, people visit the castle for tours of its rooms and gardens. It's a famous tourist spot.

Sold in 2006

In 2006 Cooper sold the brand Chambord for $255 million to the Brown-Forman Foundation.

You never have heard of it? Well, this company is one of the largest alcohol-selling companies in the world. Brown-Forman Foundation's brand portfolio contains some of the biggest brands in the industry, like Jack Daniels or Herradura Tequila.

Chambord Raspberry Vodka

In an attempt to disrupt the spirits industry, especially the Vodka part, Brown-Forman launched a Chambord-branded raspberry Vodka in 2010.

The goal was to reinvent the product category flavor-wise but also visually. The project, however, wasn't very successful. Nowadays, no one is overly excited about flavored or colored vodka anymore.

Best substitutes

If you don't have Chambord liqueur at hand, these are the best choices to replace the French liqueur.

  • Crème de Cassis: This blackcurrant liqueur has a concentrated sweet taste, often used in cocktails, desserts, or by itself. It has a deep purple color and originated in France. It's strong, so use it carefully.
  • Raspberry Liqueur: While tasting slightly different, raspberry liqueur is a sweet substitute for Chambord. It's great in desserts, ice cream, and cocktails, with a similar appearance.
  • Framboise: A raspberry-based liqueur popular in Belgium, framboise has a taste similar to Chambord. It's less sweet and pairs well with cheese, seafood, and desserts.
  • Blackberry Brandy: With a deep red color and strong berry flavor, blackberry brandy is a worthy alternative to Chambord. It's often savored slowly on its own.
  • Di Amore Raspberry Liqueur: This sweet liqueur with a strong berry aftertaste is comparable to Chambord in terms of alcohol content. It's well-suited for cocktails and has a unique flavor.


Chambord comes at a mid-range price compared to other liquors. Here's the cost breakdown for different bottle sizes:

  • 375 ml bottle: $15 to $20
  • 750 ml bottle: $25 to $35

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