Pour Yourself a Drink: Bramble

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
June 21, 2014

Photo credit: Getty Images

Berries, berries, berries. Are you obsessed, too?

With blackberry season now right up in our grill (according to foraging expert “Wildman” Steve Brill), not a lot sounds better than a bright, berry-laden, gin-spiked bramble. Its texture, which might irritate in the depth of winter (when all you crave is a silky, strong, warming Old Fashioned), is right on: Blackberries, extravagantly pulpy, all over your teeth. Who cares if some are stuck there? You’re in a sundress or a seersucker suit. You could give a damn. 

The pretty baubles shine in this sweet-tart bramble from Brooklyn, New York bar-restaurant Fort Defiance. Owner St. John Frizell tells us its name—the Warwick Bramble—is an homage to the “fantastic black currant cordial, for our money the best cassis made in America,” from American Fruits. “A traditional bramble is made with crème de mûre (blackberry cordial), but I like the tartness of this cassis, and it’s what saves the drink from being too sweet.”

But don’t worry: The blackberries you love are right in there, too—two fat plump ones, muddled into delicious submission—along with plenty of lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin. Even if you can’t be on a porch right now, this drink can get you there…in your mind. 

Warwick Bramble
From St. John Frizell, Fort Defiance
Makes one

1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. American Fruits black currant cordial (or other high-quality creme de cassis)
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 blackberries

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, and muddle blackberries. Shake and strain over ice. Garnish with a blackberry and a lemon slice.