By Sarah Watson
Due to its mix of tart and sweet, blackberry lends cocktails, from gin and vodka to scotch and bourbon, a good sweet and sour balance as well as rich flavour. Here I’ve gathered some of the tastiest cocktail recipes from around the web, using blackberries.
Some of these cocktails use a delicious French-style blackberry liqueur, which can be easily be made at home: Infuse around 250g blackberries with 70cl vodka and 100g sugar for around three months (add some citrus zest if you fancy) shaking occasionally, then strain through a fine sieve, or muslin. You can then filter again if you want a clear liqueur – coffee filters do the job. Add more sugar to taste if required, shake regularly again until the sugar has dissolved, then decant into a sterilised bottle and seal. Your liquor will benefit from maturing for a few more months – if you can wait that long!
October is the tail end of the blackberry season, but don’t worry if the berries are getting a bit seedy or aren’t very sweet, because sugar is added to the infusion and it’s filtered before drinking. Although if the berries are over-ripe and soggy, mouldy, tasteless, or just don’t taste nice, they’re past it! Alternatively you may have some stashed in the freezer.
The Hedgerow Sling from Absolut Drinks is a sour style of cocktail using sloe and lemon juice along with blackberry liqueur. Their Bramble Mimosa mixes floral and rich berry flavours in a twist on the Kir Royale. Champagne (or you could use sparkling wine) tops up Chambord black raspberry liqueur, blackberry liqueur and elderflower cordial.
This Blackberry Bourbon Smash (above) from The Little Epicurean muddles fresh blackberries with mint leaves, agave, lemon and ginger ale to make a long bourbon cocktail.
A Blackberry Gin Smash is a fruity alternative to traditional G&T, adding fresh blackberries muddled with lime juice.
A couple of these cocktail recipes use simple (sugar) syrup. Don’t buy it – it’s simple and inexpensive to make at home..here’s how.
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