Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Bramble Cocktail

The Bramble Cocktail

A blackberry ramble with London gin

Fresh summer berries. What could be better? Well, maybe a cocktail that salutes their perky flavor.

Like the Bramble. It celebrates blackberries, which grow wild in much of the world — to the delight of berry pickers.

So mix up a Bramble for a hit of summer-suffused refreshment. Without the thorns.

The Bramble Cocktail

Recipe: The Bramble Cocktail

The Bramble is made with dry gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup – making it a form of gin sour. What distinguishes the Bramble, though, is crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur), which gives the drink deep color and tangy flavor.

If you don’t have crème de mûre on hand, you can substitute crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur). The flavor is slightly different, but close enough that it makes for a pleasant-tasting Bramble.

This drink is meant to be served over crushed ice in a rocks glass. Or you can substitute ice that’s been finely chipped (that’s what we generally use).

This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves 1.

Ingredients
  • 1½ ounces dry gin
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup (or to taste)
  • ¾ ounce crème de mûre or crème de cassis (see headnote)
  • garnish of fresh blackberries and/or a lemon wheel (optional)
Procedure
  1. Place the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker that’s half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the contents are well chilled (20 seconds or so).
  2. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed or chipped ice. Drizzle the crème de mûre over the top. Garnish, if you wish, and serve.
The Bramble Cocktail

Notes
  • Don’t have crème de mûre or crème de cassis on hand? You could probably substitute Chambord (black raspberry liqueur). We haven’t tried that, but it should work.
  • When you drizzle the crème de mûre over the top of the drink, you’ll experience an intense, fruity aroma for the first few sips. (After about a minute, the liqueur will sink into the glass and mix with the other ingredients. If it settles on the bottom of the glass, just stir it up with a spoon to mix with the gin mixture.)
  • The easiest way to crush or chip ice (if your ice maker doesn’t do it), is to wrap the ice in a clean, sturdy towel and hit it with a meat pounder or even a hammer. Be careful not to whack your fingers!
  • Most gins you’ll find for sale in liquor stores are “dry” gin. (The exception is Old Tom, which has some sweetness to it.) If in doubt, ask your friendly liquor salesperson for guidance.
  • Dry gin (which originated in London) traditionally featured a botanical, juniper-forward flavor. The term “London dry gin” originally just indicated the location where the gin was made, but eventually came to denote its distinctive flavor profile.
  • These days, many gins are less juniper heavy. They’re still dry, just not “London dry” –because their style has drifted from that of traditional London gin (and of course because they often aren’t made in London).
  • So how did The Bramble come to be? It was created in 1984 by London bartender Dick Bradsell, at the famed Fred’s Club in Soho.
  • Bradsell said he wanted to create a “British” cocktail. So he used London dry gin – probably the most iconic English spirit. And he combined it with crème de mûre because its flavor reminded him of picking blackberries as a child on the Isle of Wright.
  • The word “bramble” refers to a rough, prickly shrub – the sort that grows blackberries. 
The Bramble Cocktail

Fruit Cocktail

“Slurp-o,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “This is what I call fruit punch.”

“Berry cool stuff for berry hot days,” I said. “Plum-believably good.”

“Your ‘jokes’ should be forbidden fruit,” said Mrs K R. “You don’t guava clue.”

“It’s so unberry-able when you fail to find my humor a-peeling,” I said.

“Kiwi just stop this now, old fella?” said Mrs K R. “Think I’m going bananas.”

Sigh. We elder-berries just get no respect.

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74 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Pat, it is! Wonderful flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. What a stunner! You really make the best and most beautiful cocktails, John.

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    1. Hi Angie, and it tastes much better than it looks! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. You make the absolute best cocktails. Prost !

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, aw, thanks so much for that kind comment. Prost! :-)

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  4. Replies
    1. Hi Pam, it's good, too! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Looks like the perfect summertime back porch drink!

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    1. Hi Anne, it is! Very refreshing. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. John, we are major gin lovers, and this sounds like summer in a glass. Also appreciate that it's not a bazillion ingredients. We are totally going to enjoy this soon.

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    1. Hi Terry, bet you'll really like it -- wonderful flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. I just had a similar drink at a brewery yesterday (don’t care for 🍺 as my spouse does). It was refreshing on their patio. This evening I will try yours on my patio and compare notes. I’m sure yours will be preferable as I have crème de cassis I picked up on Île d’Orleans when visiting Canada a few years ago. Come to think of it both these events occurred on our wedding anniversary, so they’re equally spectacular ;)
    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Susan, happy (belated) Anniversary! And enjoy your Bramble. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. We have some blackberry bushes in our backyard. When they get ripe it always seems to signal the tail end of summer for me but I love them so much I feel like I wait all summer for them. This will be a drink we will add to the mix ;)

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    1. Hi Dahn, some people actually shake up a few blackberries with the gin and lemon when they make that. We haven't tried that, but it sounds like a fun idea. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I've had blackberry cocktails with bourbon and it was quite refreshing. Now on the hunt for crème de mûre...

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    1. Hi Laura, blackberry and bourbon sounds delish! Gotta try that combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Sounds like a perfect summmer cocktail. And it doesn't hurt that it's gorgeous!!!

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    1. Hi Liz, pretty, and pretty good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I love the way this drink looks. You always make the best cocktails.

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    1. Hi Dawn, it's a looker, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Yes, I do have creme de cassis. Can't wait to make this. Sounds like the perfect summer swill to me!

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    1. Hi Abbe, it's swell swill. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. oh yes i love blackberries and this looks the bomb. Ah childhood memories of picking the thorny little buggers:-) Am I allowed to say that word here?:) it's a shame that they are a noxious weed, due to the neverending canes that throw themselves into the ground, taking over the pastures .... waxing lyrical there...

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    1. Hi Sherryh, blackberries are like mint -- they'll take over the world if you give them half a chance. Heck, they don't even need that much. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. Replies
    1. Hi Natalia, and tasty! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Once again, beautiful cocktail! And you've made me realize there's a bunch of "crem-de's" that I need to get familiar with.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, there are a LOT of fruity liqueurs. Each better than the last. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Stunning cocktail John! The Bramble cocktail sounds like the perfect summer drink to enjoy on the deck or patio while watching the sun set. Thank you cocktail guru for another fun beverage.

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    1. Hi Bobbi, we should have cards printed up with "cocktail gurus" on them. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. What a fun break from from our summer g&t. We have Chambord, so we’ll have to mix some up this evening. Love your punny puns this week. They were berry funny.

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    1. Hi Ron, we love those berry bad puns. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Beautiful, John. And, as always, love the puns!

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    1. Hi Jean, we really have a weakness for awful puns. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. I want to know the secret of your cocktail photography. This looks heavenly.

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    1. Hi Priya, it IS heavenly! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. I think we will have these for our zoomtails tonight. I don't have crème de mûre, but I do have creme de cassis, so that is what it will be. Glad for the explanation of London Dry Gin. I have some Bombay Sapphire in the freezer just screaming to be brought out... after all, it's 103° in the shade. If that isn't gin weather, I don't know what is!

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    1. Hi David, yup, 103° in the shade is definitely gin weather. Even though it's a dry heat. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. This cocktail looks delicious and I love the name of it!

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    1. Hi Amy, the name is fun, isn't it? As is the flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment .

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  22. This is beyond beautiful! I passed on your blog link to my husband's friend who love making drinks.

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    1. Hi Balvinder, hope your husband's friend enjoys! :-) Thanks for that, and your comment.

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  23. Looks great! I would love to try this!

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    1. Hi Isabell, you'd love it, I'll bet. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. I love blackberries so much that I can scarcely put the pint in the fridge before I've already eaten half of it out of hand. I'll have to force myself to save a few just for this cocktail.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Carolyn, we tend to eat any and all berries out of hand, too! So we usually buy twice as much as we need -- one container for us, the other for our intended purpose. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Another awesome cocktail with gin...loving the blackberry in it...will be able to use my crème de cassis. Thanks John!
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

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    1. Hi Juliana, enjoy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Another beauty. I can't get enough summer berries -- of any variety. You've reminded me how fun it is to go berry picking. This cocktail is calling my name. :-) ~Valentina

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    1. Hi Valentina, these days we're going berry picking in the grocery store, but it's fun to get out there in the brambles and pick them yourself. I always eat about as many as I pick. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. This drink has a gorgeous color, John. I don't drink much gin, but I think this cocktail recipe has me willing to give it another try! Gorgeous photos and love your and Mrs. KR's punny conversation!

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    1. Hi Marcelle, isn't the color gorgeous! As is the flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. Gay London about 1985. I got stuck in the bramble of a crazy summer there and this drink was at the center of the trouble. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, so this drink brings back fun memories, yes? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. Ohh I so wish its so summer now here, thanks for giving me a bit of sunshine with this post

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    1. Hi Raymund, this drink will definitely make your mood sunny. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. Interestingly, they still use the word "bramble" to describe a wild, shrubby area in New York. (not that you come by many of them in New York!) That's the only place I've ever heard that word. Here where I spend the summers, I've got wild blackberries growing out in the yard. I have to snatch them up quickly, because the wild turkeys love them and seem to always know exactly when they'll be ripe. I've got a bottle of cassis just waiting for action, and plenty of gin.

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    1. Hi Jeff, you don't hear the word "bramble" that much these days, for sure. Wonder why not? Anyway, sounds like you're all set to go with this. Must be fun to have wild turkeys in your yard! Thanks for the comment.

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  31. I've never tried crème de mûre, but now it's going on my shopping list. This looks like a glass of summer fun.

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    1. Hi Lisa, it's definitely summer fun. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. This is a perfect summer mixed drink John and stunningly beautiful. I’ll have to treat myself to this one evening. Thanks for sharing .

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    1. Hi Rahul, isn't it pretty? Tasty, too, which is the main thing! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. I think I have everything to make this! Score! :-)

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    1. Hi Liz, score indeed! Enjoy. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. I'm all about anything that celebrates blackberries ... um and alcohol. Cheers!

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    1. Hi Laura, what could be better than blackberries AND alcohol? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. You liquor cabinet must be outstanding! So many cocktails, so little time!
    Eva Http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

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    1. Hi Eva, we do have way too much, most of which we use only rarely. But it's nice to have on hand. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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