Friday, July 19, 2013

Berry Week 2013 - PNW 75

Iiiittt'ssss.... BERRY WEEK!

I've always loved berries. Growing up, I would have thrown my brother over a cliff to take his share of straberries. He would have willinginly done me in for my share of devonshire cream. In the end, our cahoots and loittering would have been better matched except that we seemed to care more about the other failing than succeeding ourselves (ah, childhood).

As I've grown up, my love of berries hasn't waivered. While strawberries are still my favorite, my time in the northwest has cultivated a special love of blackberries. After my recent trip abroad, I already shared the magic that is tea-based simple syrup. As we started talking about berry week, and with a case of home-sickness after being out of town for most of June, I really wanted to play homage to the Pacific Northwest. It didn't take long for me to arrive at a Pacific Northwest version of a French 75.

French 75s are fantastic little treats that (like many things I've come to love) sounded terrible at first. The cocktail consists of gin and simple syrup mixed with champagne, finished with a lemon twist. Since initially hearing about this concoction, I remained weary until I was able to try some truly fantastic options at classy bars. By using a dry champagne, the sweetness of the syrup does not overpower. And also it turns out that I haven't met a glass of bubbles (in any form) that isn't my BFF. In this cocktail version, I substituted lemon for blackberry, and used some of the reserved simple syrup from the link above.

I've included two versions below - one more traditional style using just gin, and a second version substituting some of the gin for a tea-infused vodka I found while wandering around the liquor store. I thought the gin version was great - but the tea flavor was not as strong as I prefer. My favorite part about the vodka was that it added more tea flavor without sweetness. But even as I wrote out the recipe, the combination of vodka and gin sounded... terrible. It is not. And I didn't even get a hangover after drinking testing two whole cocktails. 

After having a little sip on this cocktail, don't forget to check out the other wonderful contributions (edible and drinkable!) for Berry Week!

PNW 75
Makes 2 cocktails
3 blackberries
1 jigger earl grey simple syrup
1 jigger Tanqueray gin
1 jigger  Absolut Wild Tea vodka

In a cocktail shaker, muddle 3 blackberries with some ice. Add in the syrup and two liquors. Top with ice and shake vigorously until the shaker is frosty on the outside. Strain the mixture between two cocktail glasses. Top with champagne (almost 1:1 ratio). Sit back, sip, enjoy. 
Repeat as needed following travel.


  1. That thud you heard this morning was my jaw hitting my laptop. Beautiful cocktail, B! I've never been a fan of gin, but this one might just change my mind. Yum!

  2. Mmmm Earl Grey Tea simple syrup + gin sounds delish. I'm not a big vodka drinker but I will be on the look out for the tea flavoured vodka at the liquor store for sure so I can make this pretty pink cocktail!