blackberry buck

DSC_7244 (Medium)

It’s been a while since I made a cocktail. I’ve been off exploring the world of craft beer. However, the creativity and improvisation and alchemy inherent in cocktail creation still fascinates me. And so, when I saw a carton of fresh blackberries in the fridge, as well as a few bottles of ginger beer sitting around, I immediately started thinking of ways to use them in a cocktail. Now, fresh fruit and ginger beer immediately call to mind the Kentucky Buck, a refreshing bourbon-based cocktail that also uses strawberry, as well as the Pimm’s Cup, a kitchen-sink fruity drink with as many variations as there are people who make Pimm’s Cups. I decided to go with a variation on the Kentucky Buck that simply swaps out the strawberry for blackberry.

DSC_7253 (Medium)

Blackberry Buck
2oz Bourbon
0.5oz Simple syrup
0.5oz Lemon juice
Fresh blackberries
Ginger beer

Muddle blackberries with lemon juice and simple syrup. Add bourbon and ice. Shake well and double strain into a Collins glass (though any glass will serve). Top with ginger beer.

I slightly reduced the amount of simple syrup and lemon juice to account for the fact that blackberries are more sweeter and jammy than strawberries. I only single strained my cocktail, but a lot of pulp made it into the glass, which I find unappealing, so I recommend double straining with a tea strainer in addition to your bar strainer. I prefer a spicy ginger beer, but a milder type like Fentimans will do, just make sure you use actual ginger beer and not ginger ale.

DSC_7249 (Medium)

I liked the drink, though the bourbon was very assertive in the final result, as it has a tendency to be. The blackberry slightly faded into the background, except for its colour, but the strawberry does much the same thing in the original Kentucky Buck. I wouldn’t make this drink with an expectation of it being a primarily blackberry drink — perhaps a blackberry syrup would be more appropriate to make that particular variation. I also want to try making this with mint in the future. A garnish of blackberries would also be nice.