By looking at the Bramble cocktail, one might think it is one of those early-age cocktail recipes. It is restrained, with only a limited amount of ingredients, and right on point when it comes to flavor. It could be one of these marvelous vintage classic cocktail creations. But the Bramble is far from being old. In fact, it's one of the younger cocktails you can find on official cocktail lists like the one from the IBA.
And its inventor isn't just anybody. Dick Bradsell created the drink during his time at Fred's Club in London. You do think Dick Bradsell rings a bell with you? That's probably right because the Bramble isn't his only famous creation. He also invented the world-famous Espresso Martini. And that cocktail is still one of the main reasons coffee liqueurs like Kahlúa are so successful.
History of the Bramble
When Dick Bradsell created the drink in 1984, he experimented with a new blackberry liqueur the bar just received, named crème de Mûre. The result was nothing short of extraordinary. With only a few ingredients, he produced something that was similar to a blend of a traditional Gin Sour and a Singapore Sling. It was a perfect balance between sweet, sour, and fruity flavors.
And Bradsell was instantly hooked with the taste of the blackberry liquor. It reminded him of the brambles -you might know them as blackberries- he ate as a child. Consequently, he decided to go with this self-explanatory name. The "Bramble" was born.
The recipe Bradsell created for the Bramble is simple yet elegant. It is easy to make and at the same time so delicious. There honestly aren't many reasons to tweak this recipe. But as mixology evolves, new creations come up. And indeed, there are quite some intriguing ways to jazz up the classic formula.
Variations of the classic Bramble recipe
One of the most popular variations is to bring in fresh blackberries. But garnishing the cocktail with them won't be enough. In this variation, crème de Mûre gets replaced with fresh blackberries and a dash of simple syrup.
Another way to change the recipe is to use another base spirit. For this, you want to replace your usual Gin component. For instance, Pisco or Rhum Agricole are quite common substitute products. If you prefer to keep the Gin in the cocktail or fancy adding some extra fizz, you can also make a Bramble Fizz. The usual way for that would be to add soda water.
But if you feel like a little more luxury, you can take this fizz next level. By using Champagne instead of soda water, you'll get a Royal Bramble. Usually, I don't like Champagne in cocktails. But in this case, I think it is a beautiful way to incorporate it.
How to make the perfect Bramble cocktail
Making a great Bramble cocktail isn't too hard, really. You only need to pick the suitable type of Gin, fresh lemon juice, and the right glass to avoid too much dilution from the crushed ice. But there's one interesting and funny fact I want to mention here.
The Bramble recipe is standardized by the International Bartenders Association (IBA). That means the recipe, measurements, and preparation are defined there.
For the Bramble cocktail, the final part is to pour the crème de Mûre over the crushed ice. And apparently, there's a rule on how to do this. It says you have to pour the blackberry liqueur "in a circular motion". Very much attention to detail, I would say.
- 2 oz Dry Gin
- 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 0.5 oz Sugar Syrup
- 0.75 oz Crème de Mûre
- Add your Gin, fresh lemon juice, and sugar syrup into a shaker with ice.
- Shake until the drink is well-chilled and strain it into an Old Fashioned glass over crushed ice.
- Gently pour the crème de Mûre over the crushed ice - remember it has to be "in a circular motion".
- Garnish with fresh blackberries and lemon wheel.