Bramble Cocktail

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.

Bramble

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 creme de mure. 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 creme de mure. 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 Creme de Mure? Is it worth buying?

The star of the Bramble cocktail is the Creme de Mure (or Crème de Mûre, if you’re a purist). The minute I tried a sip of the stuff, I shouted out loud. 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 Creme de Mure 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 liquor made with fresh blackberries. It’s made by the same company that makes Creme de Menthe: founded by Emilie Giffard back in the 1880’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 bottle of Giffard Creme de Mure costs about $30 in the USA.
  • 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 Creme de Mure substitute?

Can’t find Creme de Mure 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 Creme de Mure:

  • 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 Creme de Mure and crushed ice, the Bramble cocktail is a breeze! Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Shake in a cocktail shaker. Place 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 Creme de Mure. 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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Bramble

Classic Bramble Cocktail


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

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

Description

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. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) gin
  • 3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) Creme de Mure*
  • Crushed ice, for serving
  • For the garnish: Lemon slice and fresh blackberry

Instructions

  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.

Notes

*If you can’t find Creme de Mure, substitute Creme de Cassis or Chambord.

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

Keywords: Bramble cocktail, Bramble

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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