A Berry Good Summer Cocktail: The Blackberry Bramble

It’s a testament to the deliciousness of blackberries that neither their thorns nor the snakes often found in thickets can dissuade us from picking these sweet, juicy summertime jewels.

Blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Blackberry jam. Blackberry syrup over waffles. Just blackberries all by themselves. These were among my favorite summer treats as a child. Now I can add to that list an adults-only blackberry indulgence: the blackberry bramble.

This cocktail was invented in 1984 by Dick Bradsell of Fred’s Club in London’s SoHo, but only in recent years has it become popular in the U.S. It’s a wonder that it took so long to cross the pond, because it has so many great attributes, namely:

  • Blackberries!
  • Refreshing mix of sweet and sour, perfect for warm weather
  • Nice visual contrast created by the berries and liqueur sinking to the bottom
  • Ease of preparation
  • Coolness factor of serving a summer cocktail other than a margarita or mojito
  • Catchy name. Say it with me: blackberry bramble! Awesome, right?

Here’s what you’ll need in order to make this simple yet stellar summer cocktail:

  • 2oz gin
  • 1oz lemon juice
  • 1⁄2oz simple syrup
  • 1⁄2oz crème de mûre
  • 6 blackberries
  • Lemon slice (optional, as garnish)

In essence, this is a gin sour with crème de mûre, a French blackberry liqueur. If you can’t find it, or if you just want to put a twist on the traditional recipe, try crème de framboise (raspberry) or crème de cassis (black currant).

Muddle four blackberries in a 12oz tumbler or our new 8oz stout, then top with with crushed ice. Put the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup into your favorite shaker filled with ice. Give it a good shake, then strain over the muddled blackberries and crushed ice. Drizzle in the crème de mûre, then garnish with the remaining two blackberries and a lemon slice, if you wish. Sip responsibly and smile, because even if you had to endure thorns and snakes, this cocktail was worth it.

— Matt Rehm