Without a doubt the Singapore Sling is the most well know ‘sling’ drink and my intent was to share one with you today. I was certain I had limes in the fridge. I’ve always got limes in the fridge. Um, nope, not today. So I kept with the intent of a gin drink, revised things a bit and instead of Cherry Heering, lime juice and grenadine I’ve come up with another version with ingredients I had on hand and I can’t deny we really enjoyed this Blackberry Gin Sling.
A sling is a drink that at one time wasn’t even considered a cocktail; much like flips and toddies. In the 19th century the word cocktail was reserved for drinks that contained bitters but over the years that designation was dropped and now all alcoholic drinks that are a mixture of ingredients are considered cocktails, including the sling.
The typical sling has a type of alcohol, fruit flavors, citrus, sugar and soda water. Truth be told it seems that a large number of the drinks I make c0uld fit that designation and the only thing about a sling that differentiates it from many others is the inclusion of the soda water, something I’ve grown to like very much…just a slight fizz please but enough to turn it up just a notch. The most famous of all of them is the aforementioned Singapore Sling, a drink credited to Ngiam Tong Boom, a bartender at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore during the early 20th century. Now that it’s on my mind, I’ll get to it soon…I just need those limes!
Making this with blackberries seems to fit for a winter cocktail as does the inclusion of rosemary; that juniper type scent really makes it holiday perfect. I also love the dark, lush color that results and it looks sophisticated enough for a party and yet is easy to make. Using the same ingredients over the course of a year, you could try changing out the lemon and lime and the fruit and have a steady rotation of drinks that are so easy to make.
More important is the quality of gin you use; lesser quality ones will result in a harsh end result. I was lucky to have been provided with a bottle of Brockmans Gin from England. Brockmans Gin is made from 100% English grain, quadruple distilled and flavored with 10 botanicals and is unique from the more common London Dry Gin. It uses Bulgarian coriander, blueberries and blackberries to create an aromatic smooth taste that can be consumed neat or over ice. It definitely has a fruitier taste than most gins which are often highly herbaceous and with a cocktail like this it was the perfect choice. We thought the Brockmans had an intensely smooth, beautiful taste that I’m sure you’ll
If you follow this blog because you love cocktails; you might have noticed how negligent I’ve been; I mean I missed TWO Fridays in a row. Life has been hectic beyond compare but fingers crossed that my latest computer snafus are over (at least through the end of the year please?) and I’ll get back on track. But I’ve got several great cocktails for the holidays, so I’ll be posting extra ones to make up for my being such a slacker. I’ve got a very pretty cake I want to share with you tomorrow but after that? It will be all cocktails, all the time until the New Year! Sound good? Bet my neighbors are OK with that too; they often get to share the fruits of my labor; it will be a party every day…Cheers!
Blackberry Gin Sling
A refreshing and beautiful cocktail with a hint of rosemary combined with blackberries to make it perfect for the holiday season...and all year round!
- 20 fresh blackberries
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 4 oz Brockmans Gin
- 4 oz lemon juice (lime is great too)
- 2 oz simple syrup
- Sparkling soda
For the Garnish:
- Rosemary sprigs
- Muddle 10 blackberries and one sprig of rosemary in each of two highball glasses.
- Remove the rosemary, add the remaining ingredients except soda and stir. Fill with ice and top with the sparkling soda.
- Garnish with another sprig of rosemary and a couple of blackberries.