The Bramble is one of those cocktails that took less time to become a classic than your average sports car needs to get to 60mph. It’s a simple recipe that’s so good it’s hard to believe it took so long for someone to figure it out. It’s a balanced, sweet and sour drink that’s a joy to drink at the end of summer when the blackberries are freshest.
Some Bramble History
This is arguably the most famous creation of Dick Bradsell, The Cocktail King. Invented in Fred’s Club Soho in 1984, it has been popular ever since. The name comes from both the inclusion of blackberries and the sinewy, twisting way the liqueur is added.
Bradsell has written a few times about how he came up with this cocktail. At the time, he wanted a “truly British drink,” and as he mulled it over, few things said “British” to him more than memories of cutting himself on jagged blackberry thorns as a child. And because the oyster bar next door had a machine that crushed ice, he was able to experiment and discovered that crushed ice was the best. Interestingly, the original drink was garnished with a raspberry because fresh blackberries weren’t available!
Making This Blackberry Delight
The Bramble Cocktail
- 2 Ounces Gin
- 1 Ounce Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Simple Syrup
- ½ Ounce Creme de Mure
- 1 Lemon Wheel Garnish
- Fresh Blackberries Garnish
- Mint Garnish Optional
- Add the gin, lemon, and syrup to a cocktail shaker.
- Shake it well until everything is very cold.
- Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
- Then, trickle the Crème de Mure over the top.
- Garnish with fresh blackberries and mint.
Twists and Turns
There are ways to make this drink your own, and we’d suggest trying all of them until you get the perfect flavor. Some people, for instance, swear by using Crème de Cassis instead of Crème de Mure and garnishing with rosemary rather than mint.
If it’s really warm out, consider adding just a bit of Crème de Framboise and leaving off the blackberries. If you’re drinking it in the winter, consider ditching the mint and using a cinnamon-infused demerara syrup. You also can’t go wrong by using a lemon slice garnish and be sure to play with the amount of lemon juice until you get just the right balance of sweet and sour.
Tips and Tricks
If you use crushed rather than cubed ice, you can build a little upside-down V-shaped mound and drizzle your Crème de Mure over it. This will give you the very best sinewy effect. It also serves to dilute the sweet liqueur and saves this from being a cloying drink. Of course, the better your ingredients, the better the drink will be overall: so always freshly squeeze your lemon juice.
If you have the time, make your own 2-1 simple syrup from raw sugar. This will make it slightly less sweet and slightly more complex. The molasses hints in the syrup will play beautifully with the other ingredients.