What better way to celebrate the rich fruitiness of the blackberry than in a Blackberry Gin Sour. Fruit and gin go hand in glass and the bittersweet of a gin sour is one of my favourite cocktails.
Blackberries are one of the treasures of autumn. I have fond memories of blackberrying as a child, coming home after a day berrying with purple-stained fingers and a bounty of beautiful blackberries to eat with cream. As I grew up I began baking my foraged berries into blackberry and apple crumbles, pies and jams.
These days I have less time for berrying and the supermarket shelves are glistening with bright big bold berries that are so tempting I have become quite lazy. Cultivated blackberries as well as being much larger than their wild cousins are also much sweeter, and, dare I say it, wildlife free.
Gin sours were first mentioned in Jerry Thomas’ seminal cocktail book of 1862 ‘How to Mix Drinks, or the Bon Vivant’s Companion’. And while most of us these days can hardly call ourselves bon vivants, we can still nevertheless appreciate a good cocktail.
Jerry Thomas’ measurements were not always exact. He suggested a wine glass of gin for the Gin Sour recipe. The modern classic sour mix is more precise with a ratio of 4: 4: 8 of sour, sweet and gin. You can adapt the ratios to your taste. Dial down the lemon if you have a sweet tooth.
London Dry gin is used in this recipe for a Blackberry Gin Sour but to make the most of autumn’s harvest I include a recipe at the end for homemade blackberry and pear gin.
How to Make Blackberry Gin Sour
- 60ml / 2oz London Dry gin or homemade blackberry and pear gin
- 30ml / 1oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 30ml / 1oz simple syrup or homemade blackberry syrup or Crème de Mure
- Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice.
- Fine strain into an old fashioned glass with good chunky clear ice.
How to Make Blackberry and Pear Gin
- 250ml good quality supermarket gin
- 1 pear cleaned, stalk and core removed and chopped into large chunks
- 8 big juicy blackberries
- Add all the ingredients to a mason jar.
- Steep for a few weeks in a dark cupboard. Occasionally giving it a gentle swirl round in the jar.
- You won’t need to wait for more than a few weeks as the fruits are soft and the alcohol will quickly absorb their flavours.
- Strain through a sieve lined with a muslin cloth.
- If you have the patience (I haven’t) you can strain this further through a coffee filter.
- If, like me, you are not really fussed by a few little bits floating in your homemade gin then drink straight away.
- Delicious with a splash of lemonade.