The sun sets beneath the branches of the blackberry bush, its limbs grasping towards the sky. Just a year ago this bush stood yay high, just a little pass my knee. Now it towers well over our 8-foot fence: strong, monstrous and filled with fruit.
Yet it didn't easily get there. There were weeks of sickness stricken by mold, times when the weather would grow angry and harsh, but we tended and protected, mended when needed and this Summer we were rewarded with sweet these luscious berries.
This cocktail is an ode to every thing Summer -- sweet, woodsy, with just the right amount of wonder. The earthiness of the sage plays beautifully with the spices from the gin. Feel free to leave out the gin for a mocktail or even replace soda water with tonic water for a bit more sweetness.
Ingredients for Blackberry Sage Spritzers:
(makes 2 cocktails)
- 3 oz. good quality gin
- handful of blackberries, washed
- 1 bottle soda water
- 1/2 cup ice
- 3 oz sage simple syrup (recipe below)
- fresh sage and blackberries for garnish
In a shaker, muddle the blackberries and add the simple syrup. Add gin and ice and shake well. Strain into two highball glasses and top off with the soda water. Garnish with fresh sage and blackberries and serve immediately.
To make the sage simple syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
Combine sugar and water in a small pot and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and add sage leaves, stir until leaves are submerged. Cook for 2-3 minutes and turn off heat. Allow leaves to steep for 15-20 minutes and strain into a container and place in the fridge until ready to use.