The Bramble is a cocktail that's totally underappreciated. It was created in London in the 80s (some purists claim it dates beck to Victorian ages) but it never seems to make its mark and I really don't understand why. The classic version is like the gin-lovers Kir Royale (creme de cassis with gin and citrus) and it's served over load of crushed ice so it feels like a grown-up shave ice. And, when berry season is around (now), it's a must-make cocktail. This version is the sultry cousin to the original (made with pomegranate liqueur and served with a rosemary sprig for another level of flavor) but hopefully it'll help on my quest to make the Bramble a summer cocktail we can all appreciate.
Wrap a few handfuls of ice cubes in a clean towel or ice crusher bag and, using a mallet, rolling pin, or muddler, tap until all the ice is broken up and crushed (you want a mix of ice sizes from pea sized to snowlike).
Fill an old-fashioned glass glass halfway with ice (not the crushed ice) and water and set aside to chill. Place honey and all but one berry in a cocktail shaker and, using a muddler, gently crush the berries to release their juices. Add the vodka, pomegranate liqueur, and juice and fill the shaker halfway with ice cubes (not the crushed ice). Close and shake until well chilled and shaker is frosted, about 10 to 20 shakes.
Empty old-fashioned glass and fill with crushed ice. Strain cocktail over crushed ice, skewer remaining berry on a rosemary sprig, garnish drink, and serve.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp