Friday Night Cocktail: Gin Bramble
It’s a rare cocktail whose lineage can be definitively traced back to its original creator. This is no less true of drinks from the recent past than those dating from the 19th century, as the murky history of the Cosmopolitan shows.
The Gin Bramble, however, is one such drink: we know, with as much certainty as ever accrues to these things, that it was created by Dick Bradsell at Fred’s Club in Soho, London, in the mid-80s.
Of course, that’s not the whole story. As I mentioned in my last Friday Night Cocktail post, new drinks are often created by taking an existing drink and swapping out an ingredient or two. And when you start to look for precursors to the Gin Bramble, it quickly becomes apparent that they are legion: there’s the Mississippi Mule (which likely dates to the 1920s), the Blackberry Beauty (which dates at least to the 1950s and has all the same ingredients as a Gin Bramble), and even a Canadian connection with the Canadian Blackberry Fix.
Ultimately, the Gin Bramble is a basic gin sour: gin, citrus juice and sugar. It’s just that the sugar is in the form of a liqueur, as well as simple syrup. What makes it different, and worth attributing to its creator, lies mostly in its construction; namely, that the liqueur in this particular gin sour is drizzled over the top after the other ingredients are mixed.
How to Make a Gin Bramble
- 1.5 oz. London Dry gin
- 0.75 oz. lime juice (or lemon juice, as preferred)
- 0.5 oz. simple syrup (or to taste)
- 0.75 oz. blackberry liqueur (a.k.a. crème de mûre)
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine the gin, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake for 15 seconds, then strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Drizzle the blackberry brandy over the top, creating a layered effect with the crushed ice. (Done properly, it should cascade down from the top. Needless to say, the Bramble pictured above was not done properly.) Garnish as desired: whole fresh blackberries are common, but a lime wheel looks nice too, as does a lemon slice and a couple of raspberries.
If you can’t find blackberry liqueur, feel free to substitute any good-quality, berry-flavoured liqueur. Cassis is a good and widely available substitute, as is Chambord.