The Bramble, essentially a gin sour with a crème de mûre float, is a modern classic.
As the weather warms and blackberries are in season, a bright and botanical gin cocktail shaken with fresh lemon makes a refreshing return to spring cocktail menus—just when you forgot how enjoyable a gin cocktail can be.
The year of this modern classic dates back to 1984.
Arguably an epic year of ’80s music: the Purple Rain soundtrack, pink-haired Cyndi Lauper screeching “girls just wanna have fun,” the Footloose shuffle and a flamboyant Boy George…1984 was such a vibe!
It was also the beginning of a significant era in the history of cocktails, when London bartender Dick Bradsell was shaking and spinning his own hits across the pond.
Bradsell is the creator of the Bramble, a notably well-balanced gin sour with creme de mure drizzled over the drink. He also famously created the “Vodka Espresso” aka the beloved Espresso Martini—facts every craft bartender knows today.
Bombay’s homage to the Bramble
When Bombay Sapphire, a long trusted pour for the London Dry Gin style, launched an infused gin with natural blackberry and raspberries flavors called Bombay Bramble, bartenders took note.
At the Commons Club at Virgin Hotels New Orleans, Lead Bartender Christy Bradley created a brilliant Bramble variation, the Brambling Man, adding layer upon layer of berry flavors, swapping out simple syrup for a housemade spiced blackberry shrub.
“The difference between syrups and shrubs is that syrups are cooked down with water and sugar and shrubs are macerated fruits with equal parts fruit to sugar,” Christy explains.
Chambord liqueur echoes the gin’s raspberry flavors while Spanish vermouth adds hints of vanilla and orange, the reason for Christy’s passion for Manuel Acha Atxa Vino Vermouth over Italian vermouths.
National Cocktail Day, the First Week of Spring, needless to say it’s a berry good time for a Bramble!
Ground Floor at Virgin Hotels New Orleans
550 Baronne Street, New Orleans
- 2 ounces London Dry Gin
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 3/4 ounce Blackberry liqueur, to float
- Lemon slice and blackberry, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake well. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
Slowly pour the creme de mure over the top of the drink.
Garnish with lemon wheel and fresh blackberries.
Founder and fearless leader of the Milk Punch Media pack, Melissa makes a mean espresso martini. She’s also silently correcting your grammar.