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The Bramble cocktail is one of the great modern gin cocktails! Drizzle a lemony gin sour with candy-sweet blackberry liqueur for a stunning drink.


Here’s a special cocktail that solidified itself as a new favorite at first sip: the Bramble cocktail! This drink has the sweetest name and it’s full of tangy, fruity and sophisticated flavors. This refreshing drink uses a special blackberry liqueur called crème de mûre. It might not be on hand in your liquor cabinet, but it should be: one swig is like a bite of fruity blackberry candy! This drink is one of the great modern classic gin cocktails…and to us, it’s near perfection in a glass.

What’s a Bramble cocktail?

The Bramble is a modern cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, crushed ice, and drizzled with a blackberry liqueur called crème de mûre. It was invented in 1984 by a British bartender named Dick Bradsell, who worked at Fred’s Club in London’s Soho district. Apparently Dick wanted to create a cocktail in honor of his memories of blackberry picking as a child. Man, does this drink deliver! (Fun fact: Dick also invented the Espresso Martini back in the 1980s, another modern classic drink.)

The Bramble has solidified itself as a modern classic and made the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning that it has an “official” definition. The ingredients in a Bramble cocktail are:

Bramble cocktail

What is crème de mûre? Is it worth buying?

The star of the Bramble cocktail is the crème de mûre. The minute we tried a sip of the stuff, we immediately sang its praises. The flavor is so beautifully fruity and sweet tart, it’s like a larger than life version of a blackberry candy. Apparently when this cocktail’s inventor tried crème de mûre for the first time, he had a “moment” and was immediately transported back to his fruit picking childhood (read about it here). Here’s what to know about this special liquor:

  • What is crème de mûre? Creme de mure is a French liqueur made with fresh blackberries. It’s been traditionally made in France since the 1800’s.
  • What does creme de mure taste like? This liqueur is powerful and layered: fruity, rich, bold, sweet, bright, and jammy all at once.
  • How much does creme de mure cost? A 750 ml bottle of Drillaud brand costs $15, Joseph Cartron Creme de Mure is around $25, and Giffard Creme de Mure costs about $30. We highly recommend the Joseph Cartron brand pictured here.
  • What other drinks can you make with creme de mure? Sip it as a shot, substitute it for Chambord in a French Martini or Chambord and Champagne.

What is a crème de mûre substitute?

Can’t find crème de mûre for the Bramble? Or don’t want to buy a whole new bottle for your liquor cabinet? That’s ok too. Here are a few possible substitutes for crème de mûre:

  • Creme de cassis: This is a liqueur made of black currants, most popularly used in a Kir Royal. Its fruity flavor works well as a substitute: but try to find a high quality bottle. Inexpensive Cassis is not nearly strong enough.
  • Chambord: This French black raspberry liqueur is another good substitute: you might have it on hand if you like a French Martini.
  • Blackberry brandy: Another good substitute is brandy made of blackberries, which is the closest to the blackberry flavor.
Creme de Mure

Making crushed ice

The other special ingredient in a Bramble cocktail is crushed ice! Crushed ice is essential to the texture of the drink, making it ice cold with a slushy texture. Making crushed ice is a little harder than you might think: but you can easily make it using your blender. Here are a few tips on how to make crushed ice:

  • Use your blender! The blender is the number 1 tool for crushing ice: it’s powerful and works much better than whacking at ice with a rolling pin. Pulse the blender until 1/4-inch chunks form.
  • Strain it. The ice comes out with some powdery bits and some large chunks. Use a mesh strainer to shake out the powder and then pick out the large bits with your hands.
  • Follow these instructions: go to How to Crush Ice for more.

How to make a Bramble cocktail

Once you’ve got that crème de mûre and crushed ice, the Bramble cocktail is a breeze! Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Shake in a cocktail shakerPlace all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, then fill it with ice and shake! (Don’t have a cocktail shaker? Use a mason jar!)
  2. Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Strain the drink into a lowball glass.
  3. Drizzle with crème de mûre. Drizzle that blackberry liqueur right on the top.
  4. Garnish: The drink looks lovely with a lemon slice and a fresh blackberry. But it’s not needed if you don’t have any!
Bramble cocktail

There aren’t lots of drinks that use blackberry liqueur, but here are a few drinks that are related to the Bramble cocktail!

  • Berry Vodka Smash or Blackberry Bourbon Smash This fruity cocktail stars real blackberries instead of liqueur! It’s also made with crushed ice, and you can use vodka or bourbon.
  • Gin Sour or Gin Fizz The bottom portion of the Bramble is essentially a gin sour! It’s made with lemon, gin and simple syrup. Turn it into a Fizz by adding an egg white foam topping.
  • Singapore Sling The creator of the Bramble, Dick Bradsell, claims that it’s similar to the classic Singapore Sling. This 8-ingredient drink is highly complex…we don’t really see the similarity: except for the gin!

When to serve a Bramble cocktail

Some people have claimed the Bramble cocktail is a spring cocktail, but we think you can make it any time of the year! It’s great as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
  • Summer drink
  • Bridal shower drink or bachelorette party drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
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Classic Bramble Cocktail

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Bramble cocktail is one of the great modern gin cocktails! Drizzle a lemony gin sour with candy-sweet blackberry liqueur for a stunning drink. 




  1. Add crushed ice to a lowball glass.
  2. Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and shake until cold.
  3. Strain the drink into the glass with crushed ice. Drizzle the creme de mure over crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon slice and afresh blackberry.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

**If you can’t find crème de mûre, substitute crème de cassis or Chambord.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Bramble cocktail, Bramble

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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