There are a jillion ways to pick the right drink for a sunny brunch, but if you want something a bit more interesting than a vodka mixer or glass of rosé, consider the season. One of the greatest pleasures of the summer sun is its role in ripening plenty of delicious, juicy berries. If you’ve got fresh blackberries and raspberries, you have a wealth of choices for your next indulgent breakfast — and a great cue for the drinks, both classic and contemporary, that will pair exquisitely with those meals.
A cocktail made with an invigorating berry gin can bring out the best of the fruit-forward flavors on your plate. Made with real, 100 percent natural blackberries and raspberries, Bombay Bramble has a bright, refreshing — and refreshingly outside-the-box — flavor profile. Unlike other fruit-forward spirits, it contains no added sugar, which means it has up to 10 times less sugar than some of the alternatives. Since it’s made with both blackberries and raspberries, it offers rich layers of flavor that mix beautifully in drinks. When paired with carefully chosen food recipes, these elegant cocktails can build upon and heighten the rich nuances of the foods themselves. Read on to discover our favorite pairings and carve out some sunshine to enjoy them with!
Bombay Bramble & Tonic
A variation on the classic G&T with a bright, fruit-forward twist, the Bombay Bramble and Tonic is easy to make, batch, and enjoy under any clear blue sky.
For pairing, combinations of fruitiness and bitterness will highlight the flavors in the drink, like strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. The bitter back-bite from the tonic will also help cleanse the palate, inviting each new bite, if you pair that drink with sweet, doughy treats like blueberry muffins, berry clafoutis, or strawberry pancakes topped with raspberry syrup.
- 1 ½ ounces Bombay Bramble Gin
- 4 ounces premium tonic water
- Fresh lemon wedge
- Over cubes of ice, combine ingredients in a balloon glass, large wine glass, or pitcher.
- Squeeze in the lemon wedge and add as garnish.
Bombay Bramble & Sonic
Lighter, more refreshing, and lower in both alcohol and sugar, the Bombay Bramble and Sonic subs in soda water for half the tonic water used in a standard Bombay Bramble & Tonic.
This light, bright approach will pair well with cream or dairy-based dishes. If you’re serving a berry-topped crème brûlée, coconut flan, or French toast with mixed berries and crème fraîche, the Bombay Bramble and Sonic is crisp and light enough to help those flavors shine through.
- 1 ounce Bombay Bramble
- 2 ounces premium tonic water
- 2 ounces premium club soda
- Lemon twist, for garnish
- Over cubes of ice, build the drink in a balloon glass or large wine glass.
- Garnish with lemon twist.
Invented in 1984, this modern classic comes from bartending legend Dick Bradsell, who also created the Espresso Martini. While the original was made with a mix of dry gin and blackberry liqueur, this modern version highlights the rich, vibrant flavors of a berry-based gin and is perfect for serving outdoors on a clear day or in your favorite sunroom.
A key ingredient, however, is the Bramble’s generous dose of fresh lemon juice. If you pair that with similar flavors — as in a lemon pound cake or lemon-poppyseed muffins — you might expect that to play up the citrus notes. In fact, this like-with-like approach can actually flip the script, providing an even baseline that spotlights the berry notes instead.
- 1 ½ ounces Bombay Bramble
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup (see note)
- Lemon wedge, for garnish
- Combine Bombay Bramble, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake hard.
- Strain in a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Note: To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and hot water and cool to room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
This crisp gin cooler is everything you want in a refreshing pick-me-up. It is also unfairly forgotten nowadays, despite its amazing backstory. If you want to impress the toughest cocktail enthusiasts, tell them it got its name from “Florodora,” a popular musical comedy that débuted in London in 1899. Then feel free to add that no, no one really knows how the second O in the original name turned into an A for the drink.
This one counts as a variation on the classic mule move of adding ginger ale to mixed drinks. Strengthen this motif by using an extremely prickly ginger beer, or keep it subdued with a milder ginger ale. To play it to the max, pair it with a ginger-scented shortcake topped with fresh berries and plenty of whipped cream.
- 1 ½ ounces Bombay Bramble
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- 4 ounces premium ginger ale or ginger beer
- Lime wedge, for garnish
- In a highball glass filled with ice, combine Bombay Bramble and fresh lime juice.
- Top with ginger ale.
- Stir Gently
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
The Berry Negroni
The beloved aperitif gets a dose of fresh fruitiness by subbing berry gin in the place of regular dry gin. Like an original Negroni, this update is a perfect palate-opener before a meal, stimulating the appetite with its back and forth between bitter and sweet. Serve it up to celebrate a beautiful day, or use it to ring in the last 5 o’clock rays of sunshine.
When it comes to food pairings, that bittersweet interplay will also help this drink counterbalance syrupy desserts and creamy sweets, while the Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur’s notes will also match with orange and other citrus flavors. If you’re considering crêpes Suzette or a rich cheesecake topped with berry coulis, this is the drink for you.
- 1 ounce Bombay Bramble
- 1 ounce Martini & Rossi Rosso Vermouth
- 1 ounce Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur
- Fresh berries for garnish
- Combine ingredients in an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice cubes.
- Stir well.
- Skewer berries, garnish, and serve.
This article is sponsored by Bombay Bramble.