I fell in love with whiskey and bourbon throughout the course of this past fall and winter, so it thrilled me to find a blackberry bourbon cocktail on the winter menu at Trat Frat (my favorite restaurant in town). I wound up going there quite a few times that season. Since they change their menu seasonally, we make it a point to go there at least once per menu. What usually brings me back is their cocktails, and a burning desire to have my favorite one(s) as often as possible before they disappear with the menu change. (This was especially true for the guava margarita on their spring menu, which I discovered during the Feast of St. Pizza.) The blackberry bourbon one was a major hit in my eyes, so I wanted to recreate it for for the blog this summer when blackberries were more readily available.
So today I’m sharing my best interpretation of that drink, and it’s pretty darn good. If you’re new to bourbon, this could be a great starter drink for you. It has a balance of sweet and tart, which is how I love my cocktails, but then it also has that unmistakable note of bourbon. Fruity, citrusy and refreshing, with a bourbon kick.
The day I was testing and photographing these for the blog was also the day our good friend Dave was installing a long, skinny liquor shelf in our kitchen for us. Robert and I can work our way around Photoshop and the internet, but we’re not so great with power tools. We had put off installing this shelf for six whole months before we caved and just asked Dave to do it for us. He’s a whiz with that kind of stuff. He built an island for his kitchen in three days, whereas it takes us a few months to hang up a picture in our apartment. We realized it was a job for the big leagues, so he graciously agreed to do it for us and we paid him with dinner and booze. (Thanks, Dave!)
I bring this up because Dave has become my whiskey/bourbon partner in crime. He’s fallen for the stuff even harder than I have. (I can’t cheat on my true love tequila TOO much, especially in the summertime.) So while he was installing our shelf, I was keeping him in steady supply of these cocktails. He had at least 3 or 4 of them, so I know they’re a winner with him.
Today’s post is part of a fun food blogger link-up called #drinkthesummer, organized by Sherrie from With Food and Love and Renee from Will Frolic for Food. There is an amazing amount of ridiculously good-sounding drinks (both boozy and non-boozy) coming out of this thing, so be sure to follow along on Instagram and Twitter. You can find links to all of the participants below. This list is insane! I have a lot of drinking to do for the rest of the summer …
Will Frolic for Food • The Sugar Hollow: Watermelon Gin Cocktail with Cardamom and Lime
With Food + Love • Fresh Heirloom Bloody Marys with Old Bay + Spicy Pickles
Kale & Caramel • Sweet Coconut, Hibiscus & Lime Slushie
Hummingbird High • Thyme Lemonade
Brooklyn Supper • Bloody Maria Cocktails
Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Coconut Nectarine White Wine Spritzers
Dunk & Crumble • Ginger Peach Whiskey Smash
Tasty Yummies • When Figs Fly // Spiced Rum Fig Kombucha Cocktail
Feed Me Phoebe • Pimm’s Cup Cocktail with Fresh Ginger, Lime and Tarragon
Earthy Feast • Strawberry, Basil + Pink Peppercorn Negroni
Ginger & Toasted Sesame • Blackberry Peach Margarita with Spicy Salt
O&O Eats • The Long Hope: A Honeydew Cucumber Gin Cocktail
My Name is Yeh • Nutella Egg Cream
Faring Well • Sparkling Melon Coolers with Muddled Raspberries and Mint
Beard and Bonnet • Pineapple and Cilantro Moscow Mule
The Pancake Princess • Strawberry Balsamic Shrubs
Edible Perspective • Rosé Slushies
Vegetarian Ventures • Sparkling Peppered Plum Blush
The Broken Bread • Blackberry, Cucumber & Mint Gin Spritzer
Tending the Table • Plum Spritzer with Ginger and Kafir Lime
Appeasing a Food Geek • Sugar Plum Margarita
She Eats • Fizzy Lime & Blackberry Shrub
Vigor and Sage • Peachy Tomato Basil Gin + Tonic
The Pig & Quill • Raspberry Basil Gingerade Fizz
Hungry Girl por Vida • Peanut Butter & Berry Smoothie
A Brown Table • Fig and Bourbon Summer Smash
The Clever Carrot • 5 Minute White Peach Margaritas
Cookie and Kate • Watermelon Sangria
Le Jus d’Orange • Peach Yogurt Soju + Ginger Plum Kombucha Cocktail
Chocolate + Marrow • Raspberry Thyme Smash
The Bojon Gourmet • Basil Pluot Pimm’s Cup
Snixy Kitchen • Sparkling Asian Pear and Mint Iced Tea
What’s Cooking Good Looking • Watermelon Basil Colada
Fix Feast Flair • Berry Peachy Kentucky Mules
I Am a Food Blog • Thyme Gin and Tonics
Holly & Flora • Pimm’s Cup with Blackberry + Lemon Zest Shrub
Salt & Wind • Watermelon Aperol Spritzes
Side note: I used to hate buying club soda for my cocktails because I would only use a little bit and the rest would go flat immediately. Then I discovered the tiny little glass bottles of club soda sold in 6-packs and it changed my life. I love them because you’re opening a small amount at a time (8 or 12 oz), so if it goes flat it’s not the end of the world. Small bottle = small commitment. I usually get 2 or 3 cocktails’ worth of club soda from each one. Furthermore, I’ve noticed the club soda staying carbonated much longer in the glass bottles. So that’s my pro tip for you. Honestly, though – I’ve got my eyes on a soda stream ever since using one at my friend’s beach house this summer. Do any of you have one? It’s currently on my Christmas list because then I can have soda water at the drop of a hat.
Happy summer drinking, friends!
- 5 blackberries
- 1 oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. blackberry brandy
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 4 oz. club soda
- Gently muddle the blackberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker to break them up and get some juices out.
- Add the bourbon, brandy, lemon juice, simple syrup and some ice cubes. Shake until cold.
- Pour into a glass and top with the club soda.
- Serve with a straw and give it a final swirl.