by Christopher Hirst
A drink in the great British tradition of heftily potent fruit liqueurs, the Bramble was invented in the Nineties by the late Dick Bradsell, a star mixologist if ever there was one. In its original formulation, the Bramble incorporates creme de mure (blackberry liqueur), the somewhat sweeter sister of creme de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur). Call me Miss Marple, but I’ve taken to using damson gin (Plymouth Gin make a good version), which results in a slightly sharper Bramble.
The drink also includes gomme syrup. This is a sugar solution with gum Arabic added for longevity that you can buy from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose or specialist drink shops. You could make your own sugar syrup but personally I’d stick to the ready-made variety, which spares you the peril of sticky spillages. The Bramble is served in the squat beaker known as an old fashioned glass. Fill with crushed ice before adding the shaken part of the cocktail. The dark fruit liqueur is added afterwards and should bleed into the icy slurry. It may need a (very) brief stir. The impression on the palate should be of the gin “carrying” the dark fruit rather than blending with it.
For one cocktail
60ml gin, 30ml fresh lemon juice, 30ml gomme syrup. Shake with ice cubes. Pour into old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Lace with 30ml creme de mur or damson gin. Stir gently and serve.