Cocktails: Bourbon Street Blues

This one comes from the Four Roses cocktail collection (link below). As Four Roses puts it, the Bourbon Street Blues is “a first line favorite, one sip sets the mood to NOLA.” Essentially just a Manhattan with a blackberry kick to it, this cocktail puts a refreshing twist on a timeless classic. While the argument can certainly be made that classics like the Manhattan and Old Fashioned shouldn’t be messed with, when done right, subtly introducing a complementing flavor into the mix can be pretty enjoyable.

This particular recipe calls for Blackberry Liqueur, which is pretty hard to find in most markets. I tried three different stores before I gave up and decided to go the DIY route. With about 15 minutes of work over the course of 3-4 days, you can make your own at home with the added benefit of being able to control the sweetness and quality of ingredients. The method below is pretty simple, and can easily be modified to make other flavors – blueberry and raspberry both work particularly well.

Homemade Blackberry Liqueur


  • 2 cups blackberries

  • ¾ cup brandy

  • 1 ¼ cups vodka

  • 1 cup simple syrup



  1. Add two cups blackberries in a mason jar and muddle lightly
  2. Add brandy and vodka, seal and shake well. Place away from direct sunlight for three days at room temperature shaking daily.
  3. After three days, strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer lightly pressing down to extract as much juice as possible. Then, filter through two layers of cheesecloth. You can also try a coffee filter, but in my experience the consistency was a little too thick.
  4. Add one cup simple syrup to the mixture and shake. Let the liqueur cool in the refrigerator for a day or so before using.


Making the Bourbon Street Blues


  • 1 ½ oz Four Roses Bourbon

  • ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth

  • ½ oz Blackberry Liqueur

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters




  1. Fill a coupe or martini glass with water and ice. Set aside to chill.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice.
  3. Empty chilled glass and strain drink into glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange twist.

Four Roses Bourbon Street Blues


Blake Smith


Jordan GrigsbyComment