Blackberries are all around us and I just knew that a lemon, mint, blackberry combination would work wonders with bourbon so I have a Blackberry Bourbon Cooler. It’s a great combination of fresh blackberries, lemon simple syrup and a touch of sweet tonic. And of course mint for you to spank.
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I bet you thought I was going to use my ever-present blackberry syrup today, didn’t you? Surprise! Today I’m going to a quick muddle of fresh blackberries to keep that tartness, adding in a bit of lemon simple syrup which bursts with lemon fragrance and flavor and I’ll add some tender mint leaves for aroma.
You already knew mint and lemons were a great combination, but adding in the tartness of the fresh blackberries with the lemon-essence simple syrup is a game changer.
If you haven’t already made a batch of the lemon simple syrup, you need to right now. All you need is lemon, sugar and your peeler. I’ve got the recipe below in the notes. I first played with it in the Lavender Lemon Old Fashioned last week.
This cocktail works great as a summer cocktail because you build it in the glass. It’s also using fresh ingredients, and you top it off with a bit of effervescence to make the aromas a little more tingly in your mouth.
I vacillated between using mint or lavender in the cocktail, but in the end, the refreshing push of mint matched better with the lemon and blackberry flavors. It kept the cocktail lighter and brighter in terms of flavors without overwhelming the lemon and blackberry with florals.
Bourbon or Rye?
You can absolutely use either bourbon or rye in the cocktail. I tested with both, but of course I preferred the bourbon. Bourbon and lemon are a winning combination for me.
The rye is amazing, but I think with rye I would leave out the tonic and go for a lightly flavored seltzer or soda water to keep the tonic from competing with the rye whiskey.
Tonic or Soda?
Now, the tonic does add a touch of bitter, so if you’re going for a less bitter, more sweet, harmonious cocktail, go with a soda or citrus flavored seltzer. Try to find one that not too sweet, you don’t want to add sprite to it since it’s already a sweet cocktail.
So use up those last few blackberries hanging out in the fridge with a quick muddle and a bit of mint. You’ll love the flavor combination and the surprise at the end: scoop out bourbon-infused blackberry pieces from the bottom of the glass.
Blackberry Bourbon Cooler
- 5 fresh blackberries
- ½ oz lemon simple syrup**
- 6 leaves of mint, spanked and torn in half
- 1.5 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
- Topped with citrus tonic water or a citrus seltzer see notes above
- Garnish: lemon wedges and fresh mint sprig
- Muddle blackberries and lemon simple in the bottom of a tall glass. Add mint leaves, muddle lightly again. Add bourbon and fill ½ with ice. Stir briefly, top with soda and stir briefly again. Top with garnish as desired.
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Peels from the fresh lemons you just juiced – just the peel, no pith.