Here in California our endless summer
drought? continues. But elsewhere we assume that fall is coming. With that in mind, we tend to think of “last gasp of summer” types of cocktails, and that usually brings us to the Bramble, a delightful combo of gin, lemon, sugar and blackberry liqueur (Creme de Mure). While most people here in the States haven’t heard of the Bramble, it is one of the most popular cocktails in the UK. And just like the Arctic Monkeys, this is an import from Britain that more Americans should enjoy.
The story of the Bramble is also a good one. The history says that UK bartender Dick Bradsell came up with the Bramble as an answer to the Cosmopolitan. And we can say that while the Bramble shares the attractive looks of the Cosmo, it is a much better cocktail (sorry, it is…). Basically a gin sour enhanced by blackberry liqueur and made into a slow sipper using crushed ice, the Bramble is a warm-weather delight.
Now, you may say “I don’t want to buy that Creme de Mure stuff, how often will I use it?” Well, considering how tasty the Bramble is (and that you can make a bourbon variant called the Black Demure), we think it is worth buying. But, if not, just adjust the recipe and muddle 3 or 4 fresh blackberries and some extra simple syrup. You will still have a tasty sip, even if it doesn’t get the intense blackberry flavor from the liqueur.
As for making the drink, there are a few extra steps to consider. Firstly, the recipe suggests crushed ice. Crushed ice looks great and dilutes this sipper at the right pace. So we suggest you use an ice crusher or wrap a few cups of ice in a kitchen towel and whack it a bunch (think of the Bramble as a double stress reliever). Secondly, many recipes suggest you mix the gin, lemon and sugar and then drizzle the Creme de Mure over the top of the drink. This looks good, but after the first few sips it all mixes together anyway. Your choice. Either way, the Bramble is as good of an “end of summer cocktail” as you get…
- 1 1/2 oz. gin (Plymouth is often suggested)
- 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 3/4 oz. Creme de Mure (blackberry liqueur)
- Blackberries and lemon peel, for garnish
- Add the gin, lemon and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled and stain into a lowball glass filled with crushed ice.
- Drizzle the Creme de Mure over the top. Garnish with the blackberries and lemon peel. Serve.