This non-alcoholic riff on the popular Bramble gin cocktail adds yogurt for a creamy, tangy twist that makes it perfect for a spring brunch, Mother’s Day, or a regular May afternoon on the patio. I’ve replaced the Bramble’s creme de mure (blackberry liqueur) with blackberry jam, thus the name Blackberry Jam-ble!
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About the classic Bramble cocktail
The Bramble is a modern classic gin cocktail that was invented in the 1980s by famed London bartender Dick Bradsell. This springy drink is fruity and fresh, made with a blend of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a drizzle of creme de mure (blackberry liqueur) over crushed ice. It’s one of my all-time favorite cocktail recipes and one that’s both fun and easy to riff on.
Blackberry Jamble Mocktail ingredients
To make this easy non-alcoholic spring drink, you’ll need:
- Blackberry jam (you could use preserves as well)
- Plain yogurt (regular or Greek, both work great!)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Crushed ice
How to make this easy spring mocktail:
Not only is the Blackberry Jamble a delightfully light yet creamy and fruity afternoon sipper, it’s also incredibly simple to make!
- Combine your jam, yogurt, freshly squeezed lemon juice and water (you can substitute gin here for a fortified version) in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes, and shake away.
- Once those cubes have dissolved and stopped jangling around, pour the liquid into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. It’s that easy.
Why we usually whip shake cocktails served over crushed ice
The “whip shake” is the technique described above, where only 2-3 small-ish ice cubes are added to the shaker with the cocktail ingredients, and then shaken until they dissolve. This way of shaking prevents the finished cocktail from becoming too watered down when served over crushed ice. By shaking with only a few ice cubes, the drink is chilled adequately, but without becoming too diluted when it’s poured. Crushed ice has significantly less surface area than cubed ice, meaning that it melts much more rapidly. This rapid melting adds additional water to the cocktail, increasing its level of dilution quite a bit compared to drinks served over cubed (especially large cubed) ice. Keep in mind that this drink already replaces alcohol with water, so we definitely don’t want to over-water things down!
Recipe hacks and substitutions
During these quarantined/stay-at-home times, I feel more compelled than ever to include alternate methods for preparing drinks. If you don’t have one or more of the recipe ingredients on hand, there’s no better time to try your hand at creative mixing and experiment with new flavors. There’s no right or wrong, only what tastes good to you!
Don’t have a bar spoon? 1 bar spoon = about 1 teaspoon.
Don’t have a jigger? 1 oz = 2 tablespoons.
Want to make it a cocktail? Replace the 2 oz water with 2 oz gin or vodka. 2 oz is about 1/4 cup.
Don’t have blackberry jam? It’s also spectacular with raspberry or strawberry! Try it with any flavor you like. Live your best creative mocktail life.
Don’t have a lemon? You can sub fresh lime juice, or even fresh grapefruit juice. Just keep in mind that grapefruit juice will be a bit less tart than lemon or lime, so you may want to cut back on the jam a bit. Just make sure to use freshly squeezed juice for the best results.
Don’t have plain yogurt? You can definitely use vanilla or other flavored/sweetened yogurts, but they will affect the overall sweet-to-sour ratio of the drink. If using a sweetened yogurt, cut the yogurt back to 1 bar spoon and see how the drink tastes. If the drink is too still too sweet, you can reduce the jam to 1 bar spoon as well, or you can add more citrus. Start with ½ ounce extra (1 tablespoon) and work your way up from there.
Feeling lazy and don’t want to crush ice? It’s ok. You can just shake the cocktail ingredients with a shaker ¾ full of ice and then strain the liquid over a glass full of fresh cubed ice. The end result will be a bit different and a bit more strongly flavored without the crushed ice, but it will also still be delicious! Which brings me to my next thought:
How to get crushed ice for cocktails and mocktails
Unless your refrigerator comes with an ice maker that crushes ice for you, drinks that call for crushed ice typically require more work. And I’m going to be completely honest, I hate crushing ice.
90% of the time my crushed ice comes from the bottom of a store-bought bag of ice cubes. I always buy these bags of “cocktail cube” ice when I go to the grocery store so that I have an constant supply of nice little square clear cubes for my drinks. But it’s inevitable that by the time I get to the bottom of the bag (after repeatedly smashing it to break up big clusters of cubes), I’m left with a big pile of snow and small ice fragments. I save the ends of each bag and this keeps me well-stocked in crushed ice. However, if you’re just an average home cocktail maker, you probably don’t have this random supply of ready-made crushed ice on hand. So here are some options to make quick work of the job of ice crushing:
- Use a hand crank ice crusher like this one
- Use a Lewis bag and mallet like this one
- Freeze tiny ice cubes in a mold like this one for homemade pebble ice
- Use a blender (if your blender has an ice crushing option)
What kind of edible flowers to garnish with?
Edible flowers are a beautiful (and sometimes quite delicious!) garnish for cocktails. I love the edible flowers from Gourmet Sweet Botanicals, and that’s where these are from. The yellow flower is a micro sun daisy and the pink one is a micro dianthus. I was lucky enough to receive a gifted sampler from GSB last month that introduced me to several of their offerings that I hadn’t yet tried, like the sun daisies and some other cool flowers I’ll be using in upcoming posts. I’ve personally purchased flowers and herbs from GSB many times and I am always very happy to recommend them to anyone interested in edible flowers. It’s also much easier and quicker to buy edible flowers when you’re first experimenting with them, rather than growing your own (which I also love to do!)
Did you try this mocktail? Share it on Instagram and be sure to tag me (in the photo, not just the caption, or I might not see it!)
Blackberry Jamble Mocktail
- 2 bar spoons / tea spoons blackberry jam
- 2 bar spoons / tea spoons plain yogurt (regular or Greek are both ok!)
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 oz water (substitute with gin for an alcoholic version)
- Combine the jam, yogurt, lemon juice, and water in a cocktail shaker.
- Use a bar spoon to give the ingredients a quick stir, helping to incorporate the jam and yogurt.
- Whip shake the cocktail (add 2-3 small ice cubes to the shaker and shake until the cubes dissolve).
- Pour (or fine strain if using blackberry preserves) the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with blackberries and edible flowers, if desired.