There has been lot in the papers (and apps) about Great Britain in this last month and it got us thinking; regardless of your political opinion, there is one great thing that we can all agree on – Great British Cocktails!
Last month I wrote about Caribbean Cocktails, which tend to be very colourful and sometimes considered a little tacky. Well, this month we are going down a completely different road. We’re celebrating the stiff upper lip, the punchy cocktails and the undeniable elegance in service. Britain is lucky to have access to the world’s ingredients, as well as having our own fantastic products; but this hasn’t always been the case. Great Britain came onto the ‘modern’ cocktail seen quite late for a couple of simple reasons; 1) We don’t naturally grow exotic fruits, 2) We have always had good quality alcohol available and haven’t needed to disguise the taste. Sometimes, us Brits have a tendency to forget that we are a country made up of influences from all over the world; people, ingredients and ideas – but this is to be celebrated and embraced.
Considering my previous paragraph, it is of no surprise that when we look into the Bramble, a very traditional Scottish cocktail, that one of the best ingredients is French! So, what is a
bramble and what’s it’s story? Well, it was created by a chap called Dick Bradsell; originally from the Isle of Wighte, although working in Fred’s Club, Soho at the time. Dick is a very modest man and simply describes this cocktail as a Gin sour with a bit of Creme de Mure; he’s not wrong but its not quite the glamour this contemporary classic deserves! The Bramble is a finely balanced cocktail, celebrating top quality Gin and creating memories of picking blackberries as a child. So why the name? Simple; the Bramble is a small prickly shrub that grows blackberries on it. So without further ado, please study the recipe below and wow all of your friends at future soirées (another Great British phrase!)
25ml Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
12.5ml Sugar Syrup
50ml Hendrick’s Gin
12.5ml Lejay Lagoute Creme de Mure
Cubed and Crushed Ice
Fill your Whiskey Glass with Crushed Ice, making a small point (or a volcano as Dick Adsell calls it)
Add Cubed Ice to your Boston Mixing Glass to about 3/4 full
Pour Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup and Gin into your mixing glass
Pop the Boston Tin on top of the Boston Glass shake vigorously until you hear the ice change texture, remove and discard the Glass
Using your Hawthorne Strainer, pour your ice cold ingredients over the Crushed Ice
Now drizzle the Creme de Mure on top and watch it marble its way through the drink
Dick says that he garnished with a Raspberry because that’s all he had, however a Blackberry would be a more appropriate garnish.
Blood Orange Julep
It would be very easy to move onto another Gin cocktail, as us Brits do love our Gin! However, let’s be more creative than that, lets look at some top quality British ingredients that come
together to create an incredible cocktail for everyone to enjoy – Blood Orange Julep. This is an NJAC creation after we first tried the Wiltshire Liqueur Company’s, Blood Orange Liqueur. Head Mixologist, Josh Pugh, felt compelled to create something truly British and Delicious. The Julep is traditionally made with Bourbon, Sugar and Fresh Mint, so you can see that it wasn’t a straight forward process to create something so light and fruity. It is important to remember that this is still a short drink and should sipped (responsibly).
Bar Spoon Lemon Juice
12.5ml Sugar Syrup
25ml Wiltshire Liqueur Blood Orange
32.5ml Black Cow Vodka
Sprig of Fresh Mint
Cubed and Crushed Ice
Fill you (British) Copper Cup with Crushed Ice
Add Cube Ice to your Boston Mixing Glass to about 3/4 full
Pour Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup, Blood Orange Liqueur and Vodka into your mixing glass
Pop your Boston Tin on top and shake vigorously until you hear the texture of the ice change. Remove and discard the glass
Pour the ice cold ingredients over the crushed and churn the crushed ice with a bar spoon. Keep filling up with crushed ice and churning with a bar spoon until the cup is full.
Garnish with a Mint Sprig and sip with a straw.
Happy Cocktail Mixing Great Britain!