Gin and Sweet Citrus with a Touch of Tart
The Bramble cocktail is a perfect cocktail for any occasion. Think of summer barbecues, fancy dinner parties, or even a night out with friends! Its unique flavour and beautiful presentation make it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.
For those of you looking for yet another gin and juice cocktail to sip and enjoy year round, the Bramble might be the ticket. This classic cocktail originated in the UK and was intended to be just a summer sipper. Dick Bradsell is the bartender credited with concocting this tasty beverage. He insists this drink be built on crushed ice and none other. Build this cocktail on shaved ice and the final product almost look like a snow cone. I guess that’s why this beverage would seem to have a little seasonality about it. The blackberry liqueur that tops this drink also has a fruit that grows on bushes known as ‘bramble’ and around Vancouver we know those wild berries are perfect for picking come August.
What Goes in the Bramble?
A citrus friendly gin is always a great start to making up one of these beauties. Tanqueray, with it’s few botanicals, is a great start. Fresh squeezed lemon juice is a superior option to lemon juices from concentrate. Avoid that dreaded sweet sour mix, bar mix, or margarita mix too often found in similar cocktails. Get yourself a decent metal citrus squeezer and splurge on a couple fresh lemons. Start with a short glass, loaded to the top with crushed ice then add the following:
- 1.5oz of Gin
- 1.5oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon
- 0.5oz of simple syrup (or to taste)
- 0.5oz of Creme de Cassis (unless you can find the Creme de Mure)
Add the simple syrup in this cocktail to sweeten to your liking. We like the Bramble a little more on the dry side of things. In British Columbia, we have a little trouble finding a great creme de mure to truly complete this cocktail. Considering the ‘Mure’ uses blackberries to create it’s tangy dark syrup, we find a very suitable and widely available alternative is the black currant based creme de cassis. Many bars in town will make this easy substitute.
This simple and tasty classic cocktail is one of about 100 we teach in our 32-hour bartending course. When in the Lower Mainland, add a few more drinks to your arsenal of bartending knowledge. Fun fact: the first Brambles being served on bars in the UK and France were in the 1980’s. That’s the same time as when Fine Art Bartending got started in Vancouver! Our memories don’t go back that far, but if they did… maybe it was one of these gin-based gems that spurred the idea to put a bartending school in town!
The Bramble cocktail is a perfect example of a balanced cocktail. The sweetness of the blackberry liqueur is balanced by the tartness of fresh lemon juice. Gin provides a complex, herbaceous flavour that ties everything together. The crushed ice adds a refreshing element to the cocktail, making it perfect for a hot summer day.
The Bramble Today
The Bramble cocktail has become so popular that variations of the original recipe have emerged over the years. Some bartenders use raspberry liqueur instead of blackberry, while others add a splash of soda water to give the cocktail a little fizz. Some even use muddled fresh berries instead of liqueur to give the cocktail a more natural flavour.
Despite its popularity, the Bramble cocktail is still relatively unknown in some parts of the world. However, it’s slowly gaining recognition, and many bars and restaurants are now including it on their cocktail menus. The cocktail is also popular among home bartenders, who appreciate its simplicity and versatility.
One of the reasons the Bramble cocktail has become so popular is its beautiful presentation. The deep purple colour of the blackberry liqueur against the white crushed ice. The deep purple of the fresh blackberries and lemon slice make for a stunning visual display. The cocktail is often served in a rocks glass, but some bartenders prefer to serve it in a tall Collins glass, which shows off the layers of the cocktail more effectively.
Absolutely a ‘Must Try’ Cocktail
The Bramble cocktail is a perfect example of how simple ingredients can come together to create something truly special. The combination of gin, fresh lemon juice, and blackberry liqueur may seem simple, but it’s the balance of flavours that makes this cocktail so delicious. The Bramble cocktail is a must-try for anyone who loves cocktails, and it’s a great way to introduce someone to the world of mixology. Its unique combination of flavours, plus the beautiful presentation, have made it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned bartender or a home mixologist, the Bramble cocktail is a must-try, and it’s sure to impress anyone who tries it. So, next time you’re looking for a refreshing and delicious cocktail, give the Bramble a try.