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The Bramble

By FineArtBartender

Gin and Sweet Citrus with a Touch of Tart

Bramble with blackberryFor 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. It could also be that 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 or 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)

ripe blackberry and three small berriesAdd 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, those 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!

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