The British bartender Dick Bradsell was a true master of his profession and created multiple legendary cocktail recipes. His two most famous inventions are, without a doubt, the Espresso Martini and the Bramble cocktail.
Magazines and newspapers credit him with single-handedly changing the cocktail scene in London for the better.
For the Bramble Cocktail, you need plenty of crushed ice, fresh lemon, and a blackberry liqueur called Crème de Mûre. And, of course, the perfect Gin, which builds the backbone of the drink.
With so many styles of Gin available, there are countless ways to make small changes to the flavor profile. -From a classic London Dry Gin to a New Western Dry Gin to Old Tom. And because the choice is huge, we help you pick the best Gin for making Brambles.
The Bramble cocktail
When Bradsell worked at Fred's Club in Soho, London, an importer of French products insisted that Bradsell sample liqueurs from a French manufacturer.
Bradsell later stated that when trying the Mûre, the liqueur instantly transported him to his childhood days on the Isle of Wight. He also revealed that he couldn't remember the brand but thinks it was Cave de Bissey.
He immediately got the idea of making a cocktail out of the liqueur by using a classic template: A Gin base combined with tangy lemons and a sweet syrup. -The Bramble cocktail was born.
This mix poured over ice and layered with a shot of Crème de Mûre creates an excellent tipple.
The key to making this relatively simple drink perfect is in the details. First, use a high-quality Crème de Mûre like the one from Giffard. Second, use crushed ice (not cracked ice) to add length to the cocktail and prevent it from becoming sickly sweet.
Last but not least, you need a bold and balanced Gin as the base spirit for this drink.
Best 8 Gin for Bramble cocktails
When choosing the best Gin for a Bramble cocktail, you want to stay with more classic options. Quality London Dry or Dry Gins with a solid amount of juniper are best for making this classy Gin drink.
So, here is our selection of the best Gins for making a Bramble cocktail.
Tasting Notes: Juniper, citrus, and licorice roots
Beefeater is one of the most popular brands to produce London Dry Gin. And, probably, early versions of Bradsell's Bramble cocktails were made with either Beefeater, Tanqueray, or Gordon's Gin.
Beefeater 24 is a more refined and citrus-forward expression that's still pretty close to the traditional recipe. A rather classic, juniper-forward Gin with some elegant tweaks.
This Gin performs excellently in cocktails, in general, but especially in classics like a Martini or Gibson cocktail. In a Bramble, the flavors of Seville orange work sensational with fresh lemon and Crème de Mûre.
Tasting Notes: Juniper, lime, and grapefruit
When Tanqueray released their premium expression Tanqueray Ten, the flavor profile was rather unusual and quite modern. The taste of this Gin is citrus forward with intense notes of limes and grapefruit.
More than twenty years later, the flavor profile is not that progressive and unique anymore, but it is still a Gin of premium quality.
It's a fantastic base for a Bramble if you prefer a fresh and citrusy approach. I find it balances out the sweet taste of Crème de Mûre nicely, creating an extremely well-balanced flavor profile.
Sipsmith London Dry Gin
Tasting Notes: Juniper, pine, lemon, mandarin, and coriander
Sipsmith is one of my favorite brands when it comes to quality Gins with a classic flavor profile. The brand produces some of the best Gins on the market.
And though I love their VJOP expression, their classic London Dry Gin is my preferred bottle for making a Gin Bramble. The floral notes with hints of mandarin and pine work perfectly in a Bramble cocktail.
Tasting Notes: Juniper, pine, orange, and citrus
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin is a high-quality Gin from Scotland. Like many of Scotland's most famous Whiskeys, Botanist is a Gin produced in the isle of Islay.
The spirit is flavored with 31 botanicals and is distilled in the famous Bruichladdich distillery using the "ugly betty" still.
22 of said botanicals used to flavor the Gin are native to Islay. This number also is referenced on the bottle label.
The flavors and aromas in the resulting Gin are far from conventional. Still, there's a strong note of juniper complemented with orange, lemon, and various herbal flavors.
Tasting Notes: Juniper, floral, honeysuckle, and citrus
Bloom Gin is a bold and award-winning London Dry Gin flavored with seven different botanicals. Some of those are rarely used in Gin production, like chamomile, pomelo, and honeysuckle.
The resulting Gin has a floral flavor profile with plenty of citrus notes. Juniper is also in the mix but not as pronounced as you'd expect in a London Dry Gin.
Bloom is a light and floral spirit that works exceptionally well in combination with Crème de Mûre and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Tasting Notes: Cumin, cardamom, juniper, and citrus
Opihr is a London Dry Gin enhanced with oriental spices. This Gin takes you straight to the orient with some of the most exotic botanicals you'll find in Gins.
Opihr is an affordable option of excellent quality. It's also one of my go-to Gins for making Gin & Tonics during the festive season because the oriental spices in the Gin and an orange peel create an excellent flavor profile.
Aside from the oriental spice mix, Opihr is still a rather classic Gin with a strong juniper flavor. Using it in a Bramble seems counterintuitive, but I enjoy the touch of spice Opihr adds to the drink.
No.3 London Dry Gin
Tasting Notes: Citrus, juniper, and spices
No.3 London Dry Gin is an all-around great Gin. Distilled in the Netherlands, it combines a classic junipery flavor profile with fresh citrus notes and a spicy undertone.
The spirit is crisp and smooth and has an exceptional balance of flavors. That didn't come on the first try, though. The team behind this Gin experimented with and perfected the recipe for almost two years.
The resulting Gin is perfect for a G&T but also excellent in combination with berries. Used in a Clover Club or a Bramble, No.3 is one of the best choices of Gin.
Silent Pool Gin
Tasting Notes: Juniper, juniper, and lavender
Silent Pool Gin is produced in Surrey. For the production process, the brand focuses on quality and on sustainability.
Cory Mason, the master distiller of Silent Pool Gin, only uses the highest-quality ingredients from the region to produce the Gin. Even the water used for the distillate is coming from nearby Silent Pools Lake.
The list of botanicals includes ingredients like chamomile, mint, lemon, cubeb pepper, lavender, and honey.
The subtle notes of juniper berries, elderberry, and honey make it a superb base for mixed drinks like a Bramble.
Why Trust Cocktail Society?
This article was written and edited by Timo Torner, Timo is a certified bartender and has been writing about the craft of making cocktails, bars, and spirits for more than a decade.
He visited distilleries, wineries, and cocktail bars all across the globe, tasting raw Tequila in Jalisco, Mojitos in Cuba, Soju in South Korea, and red wine in Cape Town and Australia. His favorite spirits are Gin and Mezcal, and his greatest passion is striving for perfection in cocktails and writing about it.
Learn more about us here.