The first days of summer are upon us, and with that days of wilting heat and humidity. In the quest to find a cool refresher, including lots of ice is key. Thankfully, drinks like the Julep, Cobbler and Rickey have been around since the mid-1800's to make that possible.
One of my favorite drinks with crushed ice is the Bramble, coming to us from the UK via the much-admired Dick Bradsell. It was originally created in the 1980s as a variation on the Singapore Sling.
Though made using Creme de Mure (a blackberry liqueur) by Bradsell, many bars now use freshly muddled blackberries, combined with gin, citrus, and of course, crushed ice. With its muddled fruit and ice mixture, the drink becomes akin to a Sherry Cobbler, which was once the most popular refresher in the country in the mid-1800's and, along with the mint julep, is likely what made the straw a useful necessity of everyday life.
Variations on cobblers are as easy as substituting the muddled fruit or the spirit, depending on what's available. But be sure to keep the drink light. For the Bramble, while typically made solely with gin, NYC bartender Cervantes Ramirez (Little Branch, Silver Lining) often likes to split the base spirit with an ounce of apple brandy, adding flavor and mellowing the drink slightly. Definitely a great cocktail that's not too sweet and one you won't break a sweat shaking. If only it came in popsicle form…hmmmm.
- 1 ounce Bulldog Gin
- 1 ounce apple brandy
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 3 blackberries
- Combine ingredients in a large shaker tin and muddle blackberries separately in a small shaker tin.
- Add a small amount of mixture from the large shaker into the small shaker, then pour blackberry mixture into a large rocks glass.
- Top muddled blackberries with crushed ice, then pour remainder of the mixture from the large shaker over top.
- Garnish with a blackberry and add a straw.