Bramble (IBA)

Number 10 in Top 100
Original Source: International Bartenders Association

Bramble (IBA) Description

One of the best and most popular drinks to come out of the 1980s.

Recipe Ingredients

¼   shot(s)  
½   shot(s)  
½   shot(s)  


Recipe Steps/Method

  1. Here is how you make it:
  2. Build over crushed ice. Stir then pour the blackberry liqueur over the top of the drink in a circular fashion.

Yield: Yield: 1 Serving

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Bramble (IBA) Origin

Created in the mid-80s by Dick Bradsell at Fred's Club, Soho, London, England. In 2001 Dick wrote the following for us about his creation:

“The best backhanded compliment I have ever received was from a French bartender who flatly refused to believe I had invented The Bramble. In his world it was far too well known a drink for somebody like me to have created it. How sort of proud I was. I was even prouder recently to find it on the menu amongst the 'Classic cocktails' at one of Raymond Blanc's country house restaurants. Hey I invented a classic! Do I have to retire now?

I created this drink whilst working at Fred's Club in Soho so it must have been back in the mid-eighties or there abouts. I wanted to invent a truly British drink for reasons that escape me now. I failed because I could not source an acceptable UK crème de mûre and lemons are not exactly native to our cloudy climes. A bramble, by the way, is the bush that blackberries grow on.

I know this as I spent inordinate amounts of time, in my Isle of Wight childhood, cutting and scraping myself on their jaggy thorns in attempts to capture those elusive berries that others had failed to harvest. A metaphor for something I am sure.

The success of the drink, in my opinion, is due to its simplicity. It is basically a gin sour with blackberry stuff in (Ribena can be an adequate cheap substitute for the liqueur). It also conforms to a very common method of blending and balancing flavours that occurs very often in the world of cocktails (Daiquiri, Margarita, Sour, Caipirinha). Take a spirit; Gin, sour it with lemon, sweeten it with sugar syrup and flavour it with creme de mure. Some of us may recognise the similarity between this and a Singapore Sling (gin, lemon, sugar, cherry brandy and soda).

Pouring the mix over crushed ice is the another key component because this method adds length to a cocktail that might otherwise veer towards the cloying and sickly. It dilutes it. Another advantage of its simplicity is that the recipe is very easy to remember. And it may be this, more than anything else, that has given the Bramble its staying power on the menus of the cocktail world.

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