This little gem could easily wind up as a staple of your cocktail repertoire. A guaranteed crowd pleaser, the Boston Bramble combines refinement, fun, and a smidgen of throwing-propriety-to-the-wind excess. Add to this the fact that it is truly delicious (and not terribly complicated to make) and you have a recipe for perfection.
There are many variants on the bramble and you should feel free to play around with the ingredients and their relative proportions to fit your taste and even your mood. The original Bramble is purportedly a creation of one Dick Bradsell, who came up with the concoction while mixing drinks at a bar in Soho called Fred's Club in 1980s London.
My Boston Bramble uses red raspberries in place of the traditional blackberries and Chambord liqueur in lieu of the usual crème de mûre (a blackberry liqueur). Made from both red and black raspberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey, and cognac, Chambord itself is a force to be reckoned with and once it graces your bar you will never want to be without it. I will often substitute agave nectar for simple syrup as well. There is, of course, nothing wrong with the original formula but I find the Boston Bramble a bit more bright and jubilant.
As a relative of the sour, the Boston Bramble owes much of its gustatory success to a balance of sweet and sour. Fresh-squeezed lemon on the one hand is offset both by the simple syrup and the Chambord, and to infuse still more flavor I will muddle three or four raspberries into the mix as well, which also infuses the potion with a lovely bright red color.
Since there are many powerful flavors at work here, the dry gin you choose does not have to be subtle and any good mid-level gin will do, including Gordon's and Beefeater.
- 2 parts dry gin
- 1 part fresh-squeezed lemon
- 1/2 part simple syrup (use less than this if you substitute agave nectar)
- 1/2 part Chambord liqueur
Muddle three or four raspberries in a mixing glass. Add your simple syrup, gin, and lemon juice and mix thoroughly using a bar spoon. Add ice and stir vigorously for a good 20 seconds more to bring the mixture down to temperature. Fill an old fashioned glass with crushed ice and strain your mixture over the ice, then drizzle the Chambord over the top.
Garnish with red raspberries and lemon peel.