Lucie Loves... Lifestyle // Chambord Valentine's Day Masterclass at The Drift, Shoreditch


I thought I’d challenge myself this Lent and become a vegan; this means: no meat, no dairy and apparently no Chambord?! The delicious drink – which is used to transform a glass prosecco into something worthy of royalty – contains honey, and as a result is not vegan friendly. 

Now I’m the sort of ‘go hard or go home’ vegan (well for the next 40 days anyway!) and so I was bitterly disappointed when I was invited to the Chambord cocktail master class and realised I couldn’t drink any of it! But the show must go on, and so I brought my friend Sarah along to be chief taster!

When I arrived at The Drift in Shoreditch, the Chambord table was kitted out perfectly for the evening. Copper accessories, fruit, posh glasses – it was definitely Instagramable. A lovely Irish man called Frank greeted us with a miniature bottle of Chambord and a glass of prosecco (my Easter morning drink.) We took a seat amongst the fizz and fruit to hear all about the story of Chambord.

The black raspberry liquer is crafted in the province of Chambord, at the site of a real French château which used to be frequented by King Louis XIV. The people of Chambord would present Louis with this liquor, made from forest fruits, honey, vanilla and other spices. We can now buy all of the above from our local supermarket but, in the late 1600s, to infuse a drink with such exotic items showed real prestige. So no wonder this became Louis’ tipple of choice – a man after my own heart!

Fast-forward 4 centuries and Louis XIV’s drink was finally locked down. The recipe was finalised as a mixture of vodka and cognac, infused with Madagascan vanilla, citrus peel and of course the red and black raspberries. It maintains the lavishness of King Louis since the Madagascan vanilla pod used in the drink can take up to 6 years to grow and every one is hand pollinated.

It was great to hear about the history of the drink, I will now feel like royalty when I drink it. But the real action came when making the cocktails. Bar the Kir Royale, the two classic Chambord-based cocktails are the French Martini and the Bramble. Recipes as follows:

The French Martini:

  • 20 ml Chambord
  • 40 ml Vodka
  • 60 ml Pineapple Juice

Pour into a cocktail shaker and give it a good old shake and pour through the cocktail sieve into a martini glass. The pineapple makes it lovely and foamy and if you leave it to rest a little it gets a lovely head – like a pink Guiness!

The Bramble:

  • 25 ml Chambord
  • 25 ml Gin
  • 20 ml Fresh Lemon Juice

Fill a glass with crushed ice, pour the Gin and Lemon juice into the glass whilst stirring and drizzle over the Chambord.

It was such a lovely evening – despite not being able to taste the finished goods. But it will only make it more worthwhile come Easter Sunday!

Any vegans out there?

Now on another note - if anyone has any decent vegan recipes or eateries in London - please let me know! I’d love to try them.

Words & photos ~ Karis