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be merry: Black Cap vodka bramble recipe (sort of)

be merry: Black Cap vodka bramble recipe (sort of)

Ya know what I love? A great throwback cocktail! When I read the recipe and origin of The Bramble, I knew I had to give it a try. It sounded like the perfect drink to enjoy on Valentine’s Day!

Two problems though - it calls for gin. I despise gin. Honestly, I think drinking gin is kind of like drinking the water left in your tub after taking a Lush bath bomb-filled soak.

It’s just not my thing. Vodka, however, is totally my think. So, I figured I’d just swap vodka for gin. No problem.

Well, turns out it’s not that simple because the recipe also calls for Creme de Mure, a French blackberry liqueur. Guess what you can’t buy in Portland, Maine? Yeah…I went to three liquor stores before giving up and buying what I can only imagine at least some what similar - black raspberry liqueur. Same difference, no? Honestly, I’ve never had creme de mure so I couldn’t tell you.

So, what I’m saying is that this basically isn’t a bramble at all. At least not as the drink’s inventor, Dick Bradsell, imagined it but I’m going to call it a bramble anyways because I think the name is pretty cute. And it’s my blog. And I’m a Leo. So, I what I say goes.

Let’s get boozy, friends!


Vodka Bramble(-ish)
Makes 1 drink:

1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz Black Cap vodka (or gin, if you like drinking pine tree juice)
0.5 oz black raspberry liqueur (or creme de mure, if you can find this mythical unicorn)
Crushed ice

Recipe adapted from NYT

Into a glass or cocktail shaker, add lemon juice.


Next, add your simple syrup.


Now, for the best part…the vodka! You could use some cheapo, bottle shelf nonsense. Or you could step it up for Valentine’s Day and try some locally distilled goodness. If you can’t find a local vodka, Tito’s is always a safe bet!


This vodka is made right here in Portland, Maine. If I can support a local business and get some great vodka in the process, I call that a win-win!

Let’s add it our glass.


Now, for the crushed ice. Don’t have crushed ice? No problem. I didn’t either. So, I put some regular ice cubes in mason jar and beat the crap out of them with my muddler. You definitely want crushed ice though and lots of it. You’ll see why when you pour on the black raspberry liqueur. Fill your glass to the top with crushed ice and give everything a good shake or stir.

Now, for the fun part. Making it pretty!


Look at that mixing…Gorgeous. The more crushed your ice is - the better your black raspberry float will be. Crushed ice = pretty cocktail, got it?


Can you see now why I NEEDED to make this drink? It’s so stinking pretty!

If you want the bramble to be legit (as if this version was anywhere near legit) , you have to garnish with one lemon slice and two blackberries. Not one, not three. Two. Explicit instructions from Dick Bradsell (via Wikipedia). Who am I to question a 1980’s master English mixologist?


Stunning. Seriously, stunning. Ready to see the end result?


I honestly can’t get over how pretty this drink is. And it’s really good! Like a boozy blackberry lemonade. This is a perfect cocktail to serve at your Galentine’s Day shindig, a bridal shower, or for a dinner at home with your boo. Pretty, festive, and chic.

Are you into gin? Have you ever had a bramble? Do they sell creme de mure in your city? Will you send me some? Let me know if you try this cocktail out in the comments below!

Click here for mason jars and straws.

FTC: Some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. If you shop using my links, I may earn a small commission. Thanks for supporting Laurel and Iron!

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