Looking for the ultimate Bramble cocktail recipe? This sweet and sour blackberry cocktail is perfect for gin lovers.
The Bramble cocktail is one of the ultimate classic British cocktails. A modern classic, we’ve really enjoyed getting to know Britain better via its amazing array of alcoholic beverages!
The Bramble has its roots in 1980s London. A time when supermodels, rockstars and actors gathered at the trendy bars in Soho. A period when bartenders could reach legendary status for concocting cocktails that would stand the test of time.
So, before we mix up some of our own, let’s find out how the Bramble was invented?
Bramble cocktail history
Unlike cocktails like the Gimlet, the Bramble is a relative newcomer on the drinks scene.
It was created in the 1980s by legendary London bar manager Dick Bradsell at Fred’s Club in Soho. This was no ordinary bar. It was the kind of place everyone wanted to get into. A place to be seen. A bar where movie stars hung out with supermodels.
Fred’s Club was located next door to an oyster bar, which is where Dick got the crushed ice for this modern classic. He created it after receiving a delivery from France containing, amongst other things, an excellent bottle of crème de mure (blackberry liqueur). He claimed the flavour reminded him of being a kid picking blackberries on the Isle of Wight.
As for the cocktail, he played with a classic gin sour, and reinvented it by adding a drizzle of blackberry liqueur to the top. It left a pretty purple trail through the gin cocktail.
Now it’s time to shake up some of our own. See if this Bramble cocktail recipe takes you back to blackberry picking as a kid too!
- 2 parts gin
- 1 part crème de mure
- 1 1/2 parts fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 part sugar syrup (read the notes to find out how to make this yourself)
- Crushed ice
- Slice of lemon (to garnish)
- Blackberry (to garnish)
- Fill an old-fashioned glass with crushed ice.
- Add the gin, lemon and sugar syrup, then stir until all ingredients are cool.
- Top with more crushed ice.
- Drizzle the crème de mure slowly over the ice.
- Garnish with a slice of lemon and a fresh blackberry.
To make a simple sugar syrup dissolve 2 parts caster sugar in 1 part water over a low heat.
Once it's cooled you can store it in a bottle or jar in the fridge, ready for all of those cocktail emergencies!
Variations on a classic Bramble cocktail
If you’ve enjoyed the classic Bramble, I’ve come up with a few twists on the original.
Bramble Royale Recipe
Say hello to the deluxe version of the classic Bramble cocktail.
Start by following the standard recipe above, but don’t use quite so much ice.
Top with a shot of champagne before topping with a little more crushed ice.
Bourbon Bramble Recipe
If you’re not a huge fan of gin, here’s a fun twist on the classic Bramble for you.
For this variation, replace the gin in the recipe with your favourite bourbon.
It transforms the cocktail from a light sweet and sour drink to something warming and a little heavier.
Garnish with a slice of lemon and some fresh blackberries.
Winter Bramble Recipe
Blackberries usually appear in autumn in Britain, but I love this wintery variation on a classic Bramble.
For this one, muddle a cinnamon stick and some star anise with a shot of cloudy apple juice.
Then make a Bramble using the standard recipe, but straining in this spiced apple mix.
Top with crème de mure and sprinkle some cinnamon dust on top.
Garnish with a dried slice of apple and a fresh blackberry.
Summer Raspberry Bramble Recipe
This twist on the classic Bramble recipe brings the flavours of summer to your cocktail glass.
Follow the standard Bramble recipe, but substitute the crème de mure for Chambord (black raspberry liqueur).
Garnish with a cocktail stick with three fresh raspberries.
Rhubarb and Ginger Bramble Recipe
For this Bramble recipe I’d recommend picking up a bottle of rhubarb and ginger gin to use as the base of the cocktail.
Then follow the standard Bramble cocktail recipe.
For the garnish, top with fresh blackberries and a small slither of fresh ginger.
Blackberry and Mint Bramble Recipe
I’m a big fan of a mojito and think mint is a great addition to most cocktails. This is a great option for spring and summer.
For this bramble, muddle some mint leaves with the sugar syrup before adding to the glass.
For the garnish, top with fresh blackberries and little stork of mint leaves.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these Bramble recipes as well as giving you some ideas on how to customise this British classic cocktail! Don’t forget to check out a few of our other favourite British cocktails.
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