Blackberries and gin are a perfect pair, in my opinion. I tend to like more floral gins, rather than the juniper-you-in-the-face London Drys, and they go really well with berries. This Blackberry Empress Gin Sour puts together the delicate florals of Empress Gin and the juiciness of fresh blackberries for an amazing cocktail.
Muddling the Blackberries
Of all of the fruits to muddle, I think blackberries are probably the most fun. It's kind of like popping bubble wrap. So satisfying!
When you muddle fruit, it will naturally leave some pulp behind. I happen to be a huge fan of fruit pulp, but I know a lot of people don't love it as much as me. I actually added more pulp back in to the drink after pouring! If you are on the no-pulp side, when you are straining your cocktail over the ice, you can pour it through a second strainer at the same time (see this video for the double straining technique).
Why is Empress Gin Purple?
Empress Gin is a pretty popular gin over on Instagram (side note: you can follow me on Insta here!). Besides its smooth and floral flavor, it has a gorgeous dark purple color. The color comes from infusing butterfly pea blooms after the spirit is distilled.
The magic comes in when you bring an acid to the party. When the butterfly pea infusion is mixed with an acidic ingredient, it changes to a pinkish color. Remember those pH strips from science class? This is the same kind of reaction.
Shake, Garnish & Serve
Since this drink is a sour, it's probably best if you shake all the ingredients together with ice, then strain it back out onto fresh ice. In the recipe video on my YouTube, I actually just shook the berries, gin and syrup and then poured them on top of the lime juice, because I wanted to see the color change. It's just cool!
Garnish with some more fresh blackberries and serve. It's the perfect summertime drink!
Blackberry Empress Gin Sour
- 2 oz Empress Gin
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 7 ripe blackberries (5 for muddling, 2 for garnish)
- Muddle the blackberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
- Add in the gin, simple syrup and ice. If you don't care about seeing the color change in the glass, feel free to add the lime juice in during this step.
- Add the lime juice (unless you already shook it up) and fresh ice to an old fashioned cocktail glass.
- Strain the cocktail onto the ice. If you didn't shake with the lime juice, give it a few stirs with a cocktail spoon.
- Place two blackberries on a cocktail pick for garnish, and serve.