A drink of relatively modern inception which has rapidly earned a place amongst the ranks of classics like The Martini is The Bramble. Created in the 1980s by legendary Fred’s Club bartender Dick Bradsell, this cocktail is delightfully well balanced and easy to sip, with the sweetness of blackberry liqueur cutting through the tartness of a lemon and gin focused base. Bradsell is also credited with having invented other firm favourites such as the Espresso Martini, the Wibble and the Russian Spring Punch, being nicknamed ‘The Cocktail King’ by The Observer – making The Bramble a must-know in any aspiring gin mixologist’s repertoire.
Why is it called The Bramble?
In its simplest form, this drink takes its name from the bush on which the sweet blackberries which provide the principal flavour of the cocktail grow, although another suggestion for the source of the name is “the winding nature that the liqueur takes when it’s poured from the top to the bottom of the glass, as though it were dodging through brambles.”. Bradsell’s inspiration for creating the drink is said to have been his fond memories of scrabbling through hedgerows to pick the fruit in his childhood, so I prefer this more poetic interpretation.
To achieve the fresh, natural flavour of sweet juicy blackberries within this cocktail, it is essential to use a high-quality liqueur. All of our Bramley & Gage Gin Liqueurs use only the best natural ingredients, with our Blackberry Gin Liqueur combining masses of wild foraged Gloucestershire blackberries with our strikingly smooth London Dry and just enough sugar to retain the divine autumnal taste of fruits picked straight from the hedgerow.
How do I make The Bramble Cocktail?
Traditionally, The Bramble is served in a short cocktail glass filled with crushed ice, which, according to The Craft Gin Club “is instantly refreshing, and will tone down strong flavours in spirits forward drinks”. All of this is true, however speaking to Difford’s Guide, Bradsell confirms “It [The Bramble] was made with crushed ice because that was what the machine-made.” – a far less romantic and considered origin perhaps, but the crushed ice serve seems to have stood the test of time so we’ll stick with it. If you’re about to abandon the idea of giving this foray into mixology a go because the thought of crushing ice fills you with dread, please don’t despair – this handy guide from The Craft Gin Club will have you crushing to your heart’s content in no time.
To craft this cocktail, add 50ml 6 O’clock Gin London Dry, 25ml lemon juice and 10ml sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker and fill with cubed ice – you don’t want to use your crushed ice for shaking, it will melt and dilute your drink too quickly. Give this a good hard shake for half a minute or so to really chill the ingredients down, before straining into a rocks glass filled almost to the brim with crushed ice. To finish the drink, lace the top of the glass with 20ml Bramley & Gage Blackberry Gin Liqueur, top with a little more crushed ice, and garnish with a slice of lemon and a few blackberries.
Take your first sip, and enjoy the robust, piney notes of our London Dry delightfully married with the sweetness of freshly picked blackberries and sharpness from the lemon. The Bramble – always a crowd pleaser – cheers.