Yes there are more than Gin and Tonic cocktails that are fabulous with Gin! Try this Blackberry Bramble; it’s a summer favorite.
It’s August and I’ve started to notice the entry of pumpkin items into the blogosphere. I’m reminded of a video of a mom (below) who had just dropped her child off for his first day of kindergarten and how she lamented, ‘No, he’s not ready!’ That would be me. I’m not ready. I will whine just as loudly and fight tooth and nail to hang on to summer for as long as I can. Our Spring starts late with snow potential until the middle of May so we lose a month of warmer weather the rest of the country gets…do not be trying to take this last hurrah of summer from me too!
So I offer to you this thoroughly summer cocktail made with one of my favorite fruits of the season. The Bramble cocktail is a gin-based drink that was invented by famed bartender Dick Bradsell at Fred’s Club in London’s Soho district in the 1980’s; it was reminiscent of the blackberries he used to get as a child on the Isle of Wight. It has apparently disappeared from the radar of many bartenders and home cocktail aficionados alike which is a shame because it’s a fabulous drink when blackberries are in season.
The herbaceous tones of the gin combined with tart lemon and blackberries, softened and sweetened a bit with simple syrup and Crème de Cassis is something you should really try. It’s not your mothers’ Gin and Tonic, that’s for sure!
Original recipes call for the blackberry flavored liqueur Crème de Mûre and cocktail purists would have my head for suggesting that the much easier to find Creme de Cassis (black currant) is suitable. Ignore them…heck, put it in a martini glass and REALLY ignore them. That being said, I would love to find some Crème de Mûre one day but was not interested in a day long excursion to myriad shops for this one ingredient. I decided to punt and the end result was wonderful!
I was lucky to have a bottle of Brockmans Gin on hand. 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 if that’s your preference. Me? I prefer it mixed with something and the Brockmans, with its decidedly fruitier taste, was the perfect choice for this Blackberry Bramble.
I originally posted about this cocktail in 2013 and except for the photos little has changed. It continues to be a favorite of mine and the perfect summer libation. Who’s with me…still happy with all that is summer? Come on over; I’ll make us a whole pitcher of these to celebrate!
The Bramble Cocktail – Gin, Blackberry and Lemon
- 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 large blackberries
- 1/2 ounce crème de cassis
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (heat equal amounts sugar and water until sugar is melted; cool before using)
- 1 1/2 ounces Gin
- Blackberries for garnish
- Combine the lemon juice and blackberries in a rocks glass and muddle until the berries are broken up. Fill the glass with ice.
- Combine Crème de Cassis, simple syrup and gin in a cocktail shaker and stir to combine.
- Add to the berry/lemon mixture, stir and garnish with additional blackberries.
Adjust simple syrup to your tastes; this cocktail was perfect for me but my neighbor enjoyed it a bit sweeter.
Really not a fan of gin but love blackberries? Just substitute vodka; it will have a bit less character from the botanicals that gin drinkers would miss but vodka lovers will welcome!