The Bramble Cocktail is the perfect summer sipper. This gin based cocktail is flavored with lemon and black raspberry – it’s wonderfully refreshing and an easy drinker. It might look fancy, but it’s incredibly easy to make this classic cocktail at home.
With a little extra free time on his hands, my husband has been crafting and photographing a slew of classic cocktails (you can check them all out here). When he presented me with a stunning Bramble Cocktail one evening I nearly fell out of my desk chair. I’d never even heard of this simple delight. One sip and I was hooked – and the fact that the name is utterly charming helped too.
Even though it looks like an incredibly fancy drink you’d pay a premium for at a high-end bar, this is a very simple cocktail to make at home with just a few easy-to-source ingredients.
What is a Bramble Cocktail?
The bramble cocktail is a fairly modern creation. It was created in London in the 1980s by Dick Bradsell, who was the bar manager at Fred’s Club – a private members club that attracted a host of celebrities from Boy George to Naomi Campbell. Fancy!
Dick wanted to create a truly British cocktail. It’s name, bramble, is the name of the bush on which blackberries grow. It’s a very simple drink – it’s most basic form is a gin sour with blackberry, or, in this case black raspberry.
The bramble is traditionally made with Creme de mure, a blackberry liqueur, but it’s really, really hard to find in liquor stores in the US (trust us, we tried!). It’s acceptable to use Creme de cassis or Chambord (black raspberry liqueurs); they’re much more widely available, and very suitable substitutes.
How to Make a Bramble Cocktail
This simple bramble cocktail is made in a cocktail shaker, then poured over crushed ice for a cool and refreshing sip. The layering looks complicated, but it’s so simple it’s almost criminal. You’ll pour black raspberry liqueur over the gin sour; since it’s heavier than gin, it will naturally sink to the bottom, creating a ridiculously fancy looking cocktail with almost zero effort.
Need a different visual? This recipe is also available as a story!
Combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with several ice cubes. Shake until the shaker frosts.
Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice and pour the gin mixture (a gin sour) over the ice.
Slowly pour in the creme de cassis or chambord. It will settle to the bottom.
Garnish with a lemon wheel and fresh blackberries.
What’s the Best Gin to Use?
This cocktail is only as good as its ingredients, so a high quality gin is needed here for the best flavor. It’s a personal preference, but I find that a dry gin with hints of citrus works the best (aka, London style). Widely available commercial brands like Tanqueray, Beefeater, and Aviation are great. If you’re discerning, avoid more floral gins like Hendrick’s and The Botanist.
How to Make Crushed Ice
The bramble is best experienced with crushed iced, which helps soften the edges of the spirits and keeps your drink ice-cold as you sip in the summer sun. There are two ways I like to make crushed ice at home:
- Place a handful of ice cubes into a food processor, then use the pulse feature to gently crush the ice. This doesn’t work well with larger quantities and is more suitable for making enough ice for one or two drinks.
- Place ice cubes into a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Lay the bag onto a counter, cover with a kitchen town, then pound the ice with a rolling pin until crushed. This method works well for larger quantities of ice.
Can You Make This Without a Cocktail Shaker?
Don’t fret if you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can still enjoy this bramble cocktail! Shake the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and ice in a mason jar or any lidded jar (just make sure to seal tightly). It’s important to shake the ingredients so that the flavors meld together, but you don’t want a gin explosion on your hands (literally).
How Long Do You Shake a Cocktail?
Shake at least least 30 seconds. In addition to mixing the ingredients, this helps to aerate the spirits and meld the flavors. The outside of the shaker should be icy cold to the touch.
More Refreshing Summer Cocktails
Did you make this Bramble Cocktail? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Bramble Cocktail (Gin and Raspberry)Print Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz lemon juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ½ oz creme de cassis, or chambord
- lemon wheel, for garnish
- fresh blackberries, for garnish
- Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with several ice cubes. Shake until the shaker frosts.
- Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice. Pour gin mixture over the ice.
- Slowly pour in the creme de cassis or chambord. It will settle to the bottom.
- Garnish with a lemon wheel and fresh blackberries.
- The Bramble is traditionally made with Creme de mure, a blackberry liqueur. It can be very difficult to source. Chambord and Creme de cassis are black raspberry liqueurs, and both are terrific substitutes.
- If you don’t own a cocktail shaker, use any lidded glass jar like a mason jar. Be sure to properly secure the lid.
- This cocktail is best enjoyed over crushed ice, which is easy to make at home:
- Place a handful of ice cubes into a food processor and use the pulse feature to gently crush the ice. For best results, do not crush more than 1 cup of ice at a time.
- Place ice cubes into a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Lay the bag onto a counter, cover with a kitchen town, then pound the ice with a rolling pin until crushed. This method works well for larger quantities of ice, up to 3 cups.