Liquid Assets: Berry Bramble

Rather than an official name, a bramble is more a style of cocktail. The refreshing bramble is traditionally made with gin, adding fresh berries, lemon juice, simple syrup and crushed ice.

Inspired by thorny blackberry bushes, the bramble was created with that fruit in mind. The original recipe includes crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur), which is left out of this streamlined formula from Matthew Bettinger, co-owner of SideBar in downtown Cary.

1.75 ounces gin (vodka and tequila are great substitutes)
1 ounce lemon juice
.75 ounce simple syrup*
2-3 teaspoons crushed or macerated berries**

Combine spirit, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker. Shake without ice.

Spoon berries into a rocks glass. Add crushed ice to the brim of the glass.

Pour the contents of the shaker over the ice, and agitate slightly with a spoon. The colors of the berries should start to seep into the spirits mixture.

If desired, top with more crushed ice, and garnish with fresh mint and whole berries.

* Simple syrup: Add 1 cup white sugar into 1 cup hot water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate for up to one month

** Macerated berries: Mix 1 cup fresh berries, 1 teaspoon cider vinegar and 2-3 teaspoons of sugar. Adjust the amount of sugar, depending on ripeness of fruit and desired sweetness. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

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