Spring is in the air (almost…)
Sometimes, a cocktail comes along that quickly becomes an instant classic. The Bramble is one such drink. At some point in the early 1980s, legendary bartender, Dick Bradsell was working in a bohemian cocktail bar, deep in the heart of London’s Soho. This was back in the days when cocktails were still a guilty secret in a city that got its kicks from beer, wine and whisky.
Right, said Fred!
The bar was called Fred’s Club and it served its slightly dangerous concoctions to an eclectic Soho mix of artists, writers, musicians, drag queen’s and the occasional confused tourist. That was when Fred said: “Right. Let’s create a British cocktail we can be proud of”. Dick decided to rise to the challenge and his mind wandered back to his childhood, where he had his happiest memories. He remembered his early years wandering the beautiful fields, winding lanes and gentle hills of the picture perfect Isle of Wight.
For those of you who don’t know, the Isle of Wight is a beautiful little island. It’s nestled just a few miles off the South Coast of England. This special place is like England in miniature. It’s surrounded by the sheltered waters of The Solent on one side and the exposed Southern Coast gazing wistfully towards Northern France on the other side. The island is only 22 miles long and is filled with impossibly cute villages, thatched cottages and beautiful beaches. Perfect for those long country walks. The fields and lanes are lined with beautiful vibrant hedgerows bursting with flowers, berries and fruit and teaming with birds, bees and a wide diversity of local wildlife.
Wandering down memory lane
As a child, Dick wandered these lanes, picking wild fruits and berries under an English sun. Those perfect days must have made quite an impression on the young Dick. And this is where the Bramble cocktail first started to take root in the childhood imagination of this soon to be legendary cocktail king. Years later, when the burgeoning bartender was asked to create a new British cocktail for Fred’s Club, this is where he turned for his inspiration.
The Bramble is born
He knew he wanted to make a spring cocktail, so he combined the distinctly British taste of gin (we recommend Martin Miller’s) with the citrus freshness of lemon. And then he added his secret weapon – Creme de Mure. He finished it all off with some simple syrup and when he gave it a stir, this heady, fruity mixture immediately took him back to those childhood walks. He knew he had cracked it and he called this drink The Bramble (the name given to the local name for blackberry bush). Dick went on to greater things and throughout his career, he has invented other world famous cocktails including the ubiquitous Espresso Martini. But this is the drink that made his name.
So, what’s it like?
Well, spring is in the air, so whether you’re already basking in the early sunshine of Barcelona or dreaming of brighter days from the cozy comfort of a UK winter, this drink should be coming your way soon. Basically, all you need is a few simple ingredients. Pour your gin into a separate mixing glass. Add the fresh lemon juice and simple syrup and shake the mixture over ice. Strain the resulting liquid into a highball glass full of ice. Then, slowly drizzle the creme de mure through the liquid to give the drink a beautiful, marbled effect. And if you’re all out of creme de mure, then creme de cassis is a perfectly good alternative.
The joys of spring
So, that’s it. Welcome to The Bramble.
All you have to do now is sit back, give it a gentle stir and sip. If that doesn’t fill you with the joys of spring, nothing will.
The Bramble cocktail recipe:
- 40 ml gin
- 20ml of fresh lemon juice
- 20 ml of simple syrup
- 20 ml creme de mure
- Shake the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup over ice
- Strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice
- Dribble the creme de mure through the ice and stir gently
- Garnish with a blackberry or a slice of lemon
You can check other amazing cocktail recipes here.
Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)
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