Blackberry Whiskey Bramble
by Coraliz Leilani Jacobs
April 21, 2021
In the spring and summer months, I love adding fresh berries to cocktails. Not only do they add great bursts of flavor but they’re a great source of antioxidants. That anti-aging, free-radical fighting, good for your heart source we’re all looking to eat (in my case drink) more of.
Fresh berries are in surplus this time of year, and I keep them stocked in my pantry for everything from smoothies, to salads and — a personal favorite — cocktails. Today we’re making a blackberry bramble. There are lots of blackberry bramble recipes available: however, this one is adapted for whiskey.
I always source my berries locally when possible. We’re really conscious about food miles in my house and that includes cocktail ingredients. Berry picking is one of my favorite summer activities, so I often adapt this recipe for other berries and different base spirits. When I have blueberries I’ll use vodka. Raspberries are classically paired with gin. But today, we’re using blackberries and whiskey.
As a professional mixologist, one of the questions I get asked most often is what my favorite whiskeys are: well that is a loaded question, my friends.
Not all whiskeys are created equally, and they should not be used for the same purposes. This recipe calls for a whiskey that is easy to drink, with subtle layers of spice that will enhance the blackberries’ sweet, semi-tart, earthy, rich flavor. With notes of vanilla, brown spice and toasted oak, I landed upon Slane Irish Whiskey. Not only is their whiskey absolutely delicious but their sustainability efforts alone warrants this bottle a spot on your home bar.
Another summer element this cocktail has: nugget ice. Sometimes referred to as pellet ice or crushed ice, whatever you prefer to label it, that is what we will be using. There is currently a large cult following for the at-home nugget ice maker. I must admit I’m a pretty big fan, but I haven’t splurged and gotten myself one. I did however pick up a few silicone nugget ice trays and keep several full and ready to go in my freezer. They are readily available at homeware stores and online.
This recipe also calls for a technique you might not be familiar with, short shaking. There is nothing complex, or difficult, about short shaking. Essentially, you are cutting your cocktails shakes in half. The goal here is to get our drink mixed and chilled without a lot of the dilution a regular shake yields. Most, if not all, cocktails served over crushed ice require this technique.
Let’s get to mixing!
2 oz Slane Irish Whiskey
1 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz simple syrup
In a shaker combine the whiskey, lemon juice and 3/4 oz of simple syrup.
Short shake with 3 regular ice cubes.
Strain into a mason jar full of nugget ice.
In a shaker add 3 blackberries and 3/4 oz of simple syrup.
Gently muddle the blackberries.
Pour over the top of your mason jar.
Garnish with 3 fresh blackberries and serve with a bamboo straw.
Stir well to combine before sipping.
Coraliz Leilani Jacobs also known as Co Lé on her social channels, is a Pittsburgh-based mixologist and the fashion blogger behind The Co Lé Journal. A fashion and lifestyle blog where she shares her favorite fashion trends, travel adventures, small business's, food and cocktail recipes and more. Ready for another cocktail recipe? Visit her every Friday for happy hour on Instagram, @thecolejournal, where she hosts a weekly IGTV series called Cocktail With Co Lé.