The 1980s was a dark time for the world of cocktails. Overly sweet, brightly colored vodka-based drinks with names like Fuzzy Naval, Blue Lagoon, and Sex on the Beach stormed bar menus across the world. Luckily behind a few dark bars, bartenders were looking past the Midori Sour muck and inventing drinks with more than just a provocative name. One of those drinks was the Bramble.

In 1984, bartender Dick Bradsell was working in London’s chic SOHO district and set out to create a distinctly English cocktail. Inspired by a childhood spent picking fresh blackberries on the Isle of Wight, Bradsell combined the flavors of tart lemon, sweet sugar, and sour blackberries. He finished the short gin sour with a drizzle of French blackberry liqueur and produced a perfectly refreshing summer drink that never became quite too sweet nor too sour. As the key ingredient was Crème de Mure, the blackberry liqueur, he named the drink Bramble after the blackberry bush that produced the tart berries. It instantly became a standout cocktail in a mélange of tiki-type drinks.

Inspired by this classic cocktail, Bombay Sapphire recently released its first-ever flavored gin. The Bombay Bramble starts with London dry gin as its base, then adds a fruit infusion of freshly harvested blackberries and raspberries. The result? A mouthwatering, crimson gin that blends refreshing berry flavors with earthy juniper.

Today, the spirit has simplified Bradsell’s original recipe by cutting out the clunky Crème de Mure, and imbibers can instead rest assured that Bombay Bramble’s bright berry notes will elegantly splash out on their own. Follow along for the official recipe, and then read on for our favorite ways to level up the serve!

The Bramble

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ ounces Bombay Bramble
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Hard shake.
  3. Strain in a rocks glass with fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge

Now you can find plenty of ways to customize your cocktail below, so read on for every hint, tip, and trick you’ll need to elevate the Bramble:

an infographic showing how to make the Bombay Bramble & Tonic cocktail.