What is it about fruit that brings out the creative titles indicating subtle variations in preparation? In desserts, there’s the cobbler, the crisp, the crumble, the crunch, the buckle, the pan dowdy, the brown betty . . . (I’m imagining a great SAT question here involving possible combinations of fruit and dessert type). With drinks we add even more possibilities (the censors removed this part from the question, making it less nuanced, more coldly institutional, and with a higher sugar content overall—censorship rots teeth), like the smash, the cobbler (but totally different than the dessert one), the shrub, and the bramble. Ok, so most of these don’t by necessity even have fruit in them (save citrus, which is almost in every cocktail and so barely counts), but they often do, and even though I liked taking the SAT when I was a teen (I know), the question would still be a better one with the desserts and the drinks.
The original bramble recipe was created by bartender Dick Bradsell in the ’80s at Fred’s Club in London—it called for gin, crème de mure (a blackberry liquor), lemon, and simple syrup, with a garnish of lemon and blackberry. My variation uses crème de cassis (made from black currants, the things that when dried can be found in scones, looking like mini raisins), muddled blueberries, and powdered sugar because it dissolves quickly and then you don’t have to make a simple syrup. This is a great beverage for a relaxing weekend, when you’ve had a pretty excellent week of enjoying your job, recording music in the middle of a weekday, going on a date to the best restaurant, Buvette, finally watching Hidden Figures, singing some new music that a friend wrote just for a new project with you(!), and finishing the new Haruki Murakami book of short stories.
So I think the moral of this story is twofold: summer is practically here, and being an adult is even more fun than being a teen. Hope you have a wonderful week and that you like this cocktail!
- 2 oz. London dry gin, like Beefeater
- 3/4 oz. Crème de Cassis
- 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp blueberries
- In a cocktail shaker (or any wide glass), combine all ingredients, and mash up the blueberries using a muddler. Strain into an old fashioned glass, add ice, and serve. Garnish with a few blueberries if you like.