Raspberry Liqueur (Crème de Framboise): 14 Things You Should Know

1. What is Raspberry Liqueur (Crème de Framboise)?

Raspberry liqueur, commonly known as crème de framboise, is a spirit made primarily from raspberries, alcohol, and sugar. It has a rich, fruity flavor profile with a balance of sweetness and tartness, making it a versatile addition to various culinary and cocktail applications. Served neat, over ice, or in cocktails like Raspberry Martini or Bramble, it also enhances desserts and sauces. Its aroma is mainly that of fresh raspberries, with a bright, inviting color ranging from deep red to pinkish hues.

Raspberry liqueur typically uses a neutral spirit base, although variations with brandy or rum exist. Production involves either maceration or distillation, sometimes with the inclusion of additional flavorings and ingredients, leading to different flavor, texture and intensity levels.

Brand examples include Chambord, Giffard and Bols. Prices vary, with options from budget to premium (approximately $15-$50 in the US). The alcohol by volume (ABV) ranges from 15-25%.

Alternative Names

Raspberry liqueur is also known as “crème de framboise“, “framboise liqueur“, or simply “framboise“, especially in regions influenced by French language and culture. In some cases, it is referred to as “raspberry schnapps“, although this term is less precise and can imply a different production method or alcohol content.

2. Factsheet

  • Names: Raspberry liqueur, crème de framboise, framboise liqueur, framboise, raspberry schnapps.
  • Flavor Profile: Sweet, tart, rich raspberry.
    • Aroma: Fresh raspberry.
    • Appearance: Deep red to pink.
  • Production Process: Maceration or distillation.
    • Base Alcohol: Neutral spirit, brandy, or rum.
    • Ingredients: Raspberries, alcohol, sugar.
  • Types: Premium and artisanal, standard and commercial.
    • Price Range: $15-$50.
    • Top Brands:
      • Premium: Chambord
      • Moderate: Briottet, Mathilde, Giffard
      • Budget: DeKuyper, Bols
  • Serving Suggestions: Neat, over ice, in cocktails.
    • Cocktail Examples: French Martini, Raspberry Martini, Bramble.
    • Use in Cuisine: Desserts, sauces.
  • Shelf Life: Months to years after opening.
    • Storage: Cool, dark place.
  • ABV: 15-25%.
    • Sugar Content: Varies, generally high.

3. What does it Taste Like?

Flavor Profile

Raspberry liqueur offers a palate of ripe raspberry taste, balancing sweetness with a hint of tartness. Its finish is smooth with a lingering berry aftertaste. The mouthfeel can range from syrupy in macerated types to lighter in distilled varieties. Its complexity and balance depend on production methods and ingredients.


The nose of raspberry liqueur is predominantly fresh raspberry, often with subtle undertones of other berries or fruits, depending on the brand and production method.


Raspberry liqueur displays a color spectrum from deep, almost opaque reds to lighter, translucent pinks, influenced by the type of raspberries used and the production process.

4. How is it Made?


The primary ingredients are raspberries, a base alcohol like neutral spirits, brandy, or rum, and sugar. Some varieties may include additional flavorings or botanicals to enhance complexity.

Production Process

The production of raspberry liqueur typically involves either maceration or distillation. Maceration involves soaking raspberries in alcohol, sometimes with sugar, allowing the flavors to infuse over time. This method often results in a richer, more syrupy texture. Distillation involves distilling raspberries with alcohol, leading to a clearer, more refined spirit. Regional and traditional methods can vary, adding to the diversity of styles available.

5. Types of Raspberry Liqueur (Crème de Framboise)

Raspberry liqueur, or crème de framboise, comes in various forms that cater to a wide range of preferences. The key differences lie in raspberry concentration, alcohol base, sugar content, additional flavors and production method.

1. Sugar Content: Ranging from very sweet, through subtly sweet, to tart.

2. Raspberry Concentration: Some have a more concentrated raspberry essence than others.

3. Alcohol Base: Differences in the alcohol used, like vodka or brandy bases, which affect the final taste.

4. Additional Flavors: Blending raspberries with other flavors, such as spices, citrus or other fruits, to add complexity.

5. Region and production method: From the classic French crème de framboise, through the American artisanal raspberry schnapps, to a commercial raspberry liqueur produced anywhere in the world by using a standardized manufacturing process.

6. Brands of Raspberry Liqueur (Crème de Framboise)

The raspberry liqueur market features several notable brands, such as the classic Chambord; the French artisanal Briottet, Mathilde and Giffard; or the more standardized and commercial Bols and DeKuyper.

1. Chambord: Chambord is arguably the most famous, classic raspberry liqueur, renowned for its luxurious velvety texture and rich, intense raspberry flavor. It is packaged in an instantly recognizable round bottle.

2. Briottet, Mathilde and Giffard: Brands of crème de framboise like Briottet, Mathilde and Giffard represent artisanal French craftsmanship with their authentic raspberry taste, focused on natural ingredients and craft production methods, still family or privately owned and made in France.

3. DeKuyper and Bols: Popular commercially produced, standardized products that present a versatile, budget-friendly option with bold sweet-tart raspberry taste.

Premium crème de framboise—like Chambord, Briottet, Mathilde and Giffard—are ideal for sipping and more sophisticated, nuanced cocktails. In contrast, commercial brands of raspberry liqueur schnapps—like DeKuyper and Bols—are best suited for casual, straightforward, affordable cocktails.

7. Buying Guide

Price Range

The price of raspberry liqueurs (crème de framboise) ranges from budget-friendly ($15-$25) to premium ($40+).

  1. Budget: $15 – $25
  2. Moderate: $25 – $40
  3. Premium: $40+

Best Buys

Recommended buys for a raspberry liqueur (crème de framboise) include DeKuyper for budget; Briottet, Mathilde and Giffard for moderate; and Chambord for premium.

  1. Budget: Bols Raspberrry, DeKuyper Raspberry Schnapps Liqueur
  2. Moderate: Briottet, Mathilde and Giffard Crème de Framboise
  3. Premium: Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur

Buying Tips

When choosing the best bottle of raspberry liqueur for your needs, consider the taste, ingredients, production, quality, use case, value, brand reputation, and price.

Considerations when selecting crème de framboise:

  1. Taste: Preference for sweet or subtle flavors.
  2. Ingredients: Look for natural raspberry content.
  3. Production: Artisanal vs. mass-produced.
  4. Use Case: Cocktails, neat, or food pairing.
  5. Value: Price vs. quality.
  6. Brand Reputation: Research brand history and consumer reviews.

Premium – Worth it?

Premium raspberry liqueurs, such as Chambord, typically offer superior flavor, natural and high-quality ingredients, complexity, versatility, bottle design and brand prestige. These factors contribute to a more refined experience, making premium options ideal for those seeking depth of flavor and luxury in their choice of spirit.

Characteristics of premium raspberry liqueurs:

  1. Enhanced Flavor: Deeper, more authentic raspberry taste.
  2. Quality Ingredients: Often made with superior raspberries and fewer additives.
  3. Complexity: More nuanced flavor profiles, ideal for connoisseurs.
  4. Versatility: Superior in both cocktails and neat sipping.
  5. Brand Prestige: Some premium brands offer a level of exclusivity and recognition.

8. How to Drink it?

Serving Guide

Raspberry liqueur, or crème de framboise, is versatile in serving options. Enjoy it neat, over ice, or in cocktails. The ideal glassware for sipping neat is a small liqueur glass, enhancing the aroma. For a chilled experience, serve it over ice in a rocks glass. The optimal serving temperature ranges between 15-18°C (59-64°F).

Tasting & Appreciation

To properly taste and evaluate crème de framboise, start by observing its color and viscosity. Swirl gently to release aromas. Sip slowly, noting the balance between sweetness and the natural tartness of raspberries. Quality raspberry liqueurs offer a harmonious blend of flavor, alcohol, and acidity.

9. How to Use it in Cocktails?

  • Cocktails:

Raspberry liqueur (crème de framboise) is a staple in many cocktails. Popular choices include the Bramble, French Martini, or Raspberry Martini. Its rich berry flavor complements both clear and dark spirits, adding complexity and depth.

  • Mixers:

Crème de framboise pairs well with a range of mixers. Alcoholic options include vodka, gin, and champagne. Alcohol-free mixers like lemonade, tonic water, or soda enhance its fruity notes without overpowering.

  • Brands:

For cocktail making, brand selection makes a real difference. Higher-end crème de framboise brands offer more nuanced flavors, ideal for sipping and sophisticated cocktails. Mid-range brands are versatile for a variety of mixed drinks. Low-end bottles are great for casual, budget-friendly drinks.

  • Tips:

When mixing cocktails with raspberry liqueur, balance is key. Pair it with ingredients that complement its sweet-tart profile. Adjust proportions to suit the cocktail’s character, whether refreshing or robust.

  • Substitutes:

Substitutes for raspberry liqueur in cocktails include other berry liqueurs or non-alcoholic raspberry syrups. These alternatives can replicate the fruitiness, though the complexity may vary.

10. How to Use it in the Kitchen?

Culinary Applications

Beyond cocktails, raspberry liqueur adds a gourmet touch to cooking and baking. Use it in desserts like raspberry trifle, chocolate mousse, or as a glaze for fruit tarts. Its rich flavor also enhances savory dishes, like raspberry vinaigrette or glazed duck.

Food Pairings

Pair crème de framboise with foods that complement its sweet and tart profile. Chocolate, vanilla, and creamy desserts are ideal. For savory pairings, try it with mild cheeses, poultry, or pork, balancing the fruitiness with richer flavors.

11. How to Store it?


Storing raspberry liqueur, or crème de framboise, correctly maintains its quality. Prior to opening, keep it in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and temperature fluctuations.

Post-opening, the liqueur should still be stored away from light and heat. Refrigeration is not mandatory, but it can help preserve the flavor, especially in warmer climates.

Freezing is not recommended as it can alter the liqueur’s consistency and flavor profile, although it typically does not freeze solid due to alcohol content.


Unopened, raspberry liqueur has a long shelf life, retaining its quality for several years. Once opened, its optimal quality lasts for about 12-18 months. The liqueur doesn’t spoil easily, but its flavors may diminish over time. Regularly check for changes in color, aroma, or taste.

12. History & Popularity

Raspberry liqueur, with its rich history, originated in France, where it’s known as crème de framboise. Its development dates back to the late 17th century, a product of the French tradition of fruit liqueur making. The liqueur gained prominence for its intense raspberry flavor, traditionally achieved by macerating or infusing real raspberries in alcohol.

  • Cultural Significance: This liqueur is not just a drink, but a cultural symbol, often associated with French gastronomy and elegance. It’s a staple in many classic cocktails and culinary creations.
  • Popularity: Globally, raspberry liqueur enjoys popularity for its versatility. It’s a favored ingredient in cocktails, desserts, and even savory dishes, appreciated for its balance of sweetness and tartness.

13. How to Make it at Home

Recipe for Raspberry Liqueur:

1. Ingredients: You’ll need fresh raspberries, high-quality vodka or neutral spirits, sugar, and water.

2. Tools & Equipment: Gather a large jar, fine strainer, cheesecloth, and bottles for storage.

3. Preparation Steps:

  • Step 1: Mash raspberries and mix with alcohol in the jar.
  • Step 2: Seal and store in a dark place, shaking daily for 1-2 weeks.
  • Step 3: Strain and add a simple syrup made from sugar and water.
  • Step 4: Let it mature for an additional few weeks for flavors to meld.

14. Nutrition of Raspberry Liqueur (Crème de Framboise)

  • ABV Content: Raspberry liqueur typically has an alcohol by volume (ABV) content ranging from 15% to 25%.
  • Sugar Content: It’s relatively high in sugars, contributing to its sweetness. Exact carbohydrate content varies by brand.
  • Dietary Restrictions: While naturally gluten-free and vegan, always check labels for specific dietary concerns. Homemade versions can be tailored to dietary needs.


Always consume raspberry liqueur responsibly. The information provided does not substitute professional dietary advice. Readers are responsible for making informed decisions about their consumption based on personal dietary restrictions and preferences.

In conclusion, raspberry liqueur is a dynamic and versatile spirit, rich in history and varied in its production methods and applications. From its deep red color to its sweet-tart flavor profile, it offers a sensory experience that enhances cocktails, cuisines, and celebrations alike.

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