Drinks That Pair Well – Jason’s Smoked Blackberry Bourbon Bramble

Can you believe that December is already here? In many ways, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays are around the corner, family and friends are gathering together and holiday parties are in full effect. Not to mention, all the different holiday meals and great cocktails! This is why for this month’s post, I wanted to share with you a drink that pairs well with various meal options. A Bramble cocktail is certainly a must this season! If you’ve never had one – now is your chance to try and make your own.

Before I share with you how to make the drink – did you know that the Bramble cocktail actually goes back to the ’80s? Let me share some of the history with you! 

Credit for the first Bramble Cocktail goes to a gentleman by the name of Dick Bradsell who was a drink technician in London in the early 80’s. He wanted to create a drink that reminded him of his childhood to tell the story of him and his father going “blackberrying” on the Isle of Wright and the blackberry brambles (also known as a blackberry bush) that they were being pricked by in order to get the delicious ripe fruit.

He kept this drink light and fresh with gin, creme de mure, lemon, and of course his beloved blackberries.

It was a hit and has become a staple in the cocktail world, oftentimes blackberry liquor is substituted or even cassis. Now, let’s move to my take on it. First thing is first, I don’t like gin. I never have and probably never will. Don’t get me wrong, if someone tells me, hey you have to try this gin-based cocktail I am not one to turn it down, I will drink it but I won’t like it.

If you know me, you know love bourbon and bourbon loves me.

So I substitute for my version Woodford Reserve and in place of the blackberry liquor, I added my own “blackberry puree” that is listed here in my resource recipes on the website as “blackberry ketchup”. It is essentially blackberries cooked down with fall spices, sugar, and a little vinegar to give you something highly versatile. Also, I smoked this cocktail using cherry wood. You don’t have to get fancy and buy a cocktail smoking device, but you can (link in my recipe). Otherwise, get untreated cedar or cherry wood and OUTDOORS hit it with a torch for 10 seconds invert the glass and let it smolder inside then make the cocktail in the glass.

Jason’s Smoked Blackberry Bourbon Bramble

  • 2oz Woodford (or your favorite)
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. Jason’s Blackberry Ketchup (recipe in resources)
  • Large ice cube
  • Lemon twist for garnish
  • Fresh blackberries for garnish
  • Shake the first 3 ingredients with crushed ice.
  • Muddle the blackberries with the blackberry puree in the glass.
  • Smoke the glass (see below) add the ice cube and strain the shaker into the glass and stir.
  • Garnish with a blackberry or 2 and a lemon twist or slice.

This cocktail is great with steak, grilled, or roasted fish. Or use the extra blackberry ketchup to roast and glaze a nice pork tenderloin or chop!

* As I mentioned you can easily smoke a glass with a small untreated wood plank and a torch. Amazon has a great device that I use not only for cocktails but also for cold smoking meats/fish etc.

Here is the link Amazon.com: Smoking Gun Wood Smoke Infuser Birner PRO – Starter Kit, 11 PCS, Flavor Blaster Smoker Machine with Accessories and Wood Chips – Cold Smoke for Food and Drinks: Home & Kitchen