Cocktails: The Bourbon Bramble

When it comes to springtime drinks, the whiskey sour is a regular feature in my home. Smooth, refreshing, and easily adaptable for variations, the whiskey sour is great for sipping on the porch in the early spring or even while sitting around a campfire throughout the summer. And while I’m a big proponent of using bitters to spice up a classic cocktail, the whiskey sour lends itself particularly well to experimenting with different fruit additions. With warmer weather on the horizon and 3 for $5 berries hitting grocery stores everywhere, there’s no better place to start than with the Bourbon Bramble.

The Bourbon Bramble is a twist on the original Bramble, a gin classic. It was created in London in the 1980s by Dick Bradsell in an attempt to create an iconic British cocktail. By replacing the gin with bourbon, you get a nice balance of sweet and spicy making this cocktail great year-round. At its core, the Bourbon Bramble is essentially a blackberry spin on a whiskey sour. While you’ll sometimes see the gin version made with lime juice, I’ve found that lemon juice blends a little better with the bourbon profile. While you don’t need to reach for the top shelf, you will want to use a solid, higher proof bourbon with enough complexity to cut through the blackberry sweetness. Some of my favorites here include Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond, Wild Turkey 101, and Bulleit. If you’re looking to take it up a notch, Russell’s Reserve and Four Roses Single Barrel both work really well here too, adding a little extra spiciness and complexity.

Making the Drink


  • ¾ oz Simple Syrup

  • 1 oz Blackberry Liqueur

  • ¾ oz Lemon Juice

  • 2 oz Bourbon

  • Fresh Blackberries, and lemon for garnish




  1. Add Simple Syrup, Blackberry Liqueur, Lemon Juice, and Bourbon to a shaker glass. Shake vigorously with ice for 10 seconds.
  2. Muddle two blackberries in an old-fashioned glass. Add crushed ice.
  3. Strain cocktail into old-fashioned glass.
  4. Garnish with two blackberries and a lemon wheel.



Blake Smith