A great seasonal cocktail from fall through winter, this Blackberry, Bourbon and Cranberry Cocktail includes blackberry liqueur, bourbon, and cranberry juice for a cocktail that is refreshing and beautiful.
I know I whine and complain about Summer ending and the beginning of Fall every year and I do feel a bit like the Lone Ranger in that effort to hang onto every last moment of warm days and cool nights. But I’m a realist too; there is snow outside and it’s time for the whining to stop and acceptance to begin so I’ll start with this Blackberry, Bourbon and Cranberry Cocktail!
It snowed about 10 inches this week in Denver and last night it was down into single digits; seems smart to concede doesn’t it? This concession is fitting for the first of Fall in Colorado when the weather is as varied as the cocktails contained on this site. We can go from warm to freezing in less than 24 hours; fun hmm?
It’s no surprise that when the cooler months hit I start thinking about more transitional cocktails and by transitional I mean bourbon. There is something about bourbon that is warming and more robust and seems perfect for cooler months.
Tequila is my friend in the Summer and bourbon and I get closer starting with the advent of Fall. Traditionally I’ve looked towards apples and apple cider for the fruit I’ll include in a cocktail for the Fall season but I’m taking a different path today.
This is my segue…the fruit of late Summer and my choice of libation for Fall…seems perfect. This cocktail includes fresh blackberries for garnish, but consider them optional, if they are not available simply throw in a couple of cranberries instead if you want to accompany the lemon wedge.
The liqueur suggested for this cocktail is Crème de Mûre or blackberry liqueur. It’s made in France from blackberry juice and has the most intense blackberry flavor. Crème de Cassis, which is a liqueur made from black currents, is often used as a substitute (yes I have) and is perfectly fine to use if you find the French version more difficult to locate.
In years past I would have to make a trip to a specialty liquor store downtown to locate the Crème de Mûre but in the past couple of years it seems to be on more and more shelves. But I wasn’t in the mood for that even so I decided to make my own last week. Homemade Crème de Mûre was so easy; you might want to give it a try too!
This cocktail is everything I love. The warmth of bourbon with both tart and sweet elements of blackberries, cranberry juice, lemon, and some simple syrup. And make no mistake…the bourbon is clearly evident. I’ve suggested 5-6 ounces for 2 cocktails…try the smaller amount and see for yourself if your palate prefers a stronger presence before pouring.
If you’re looking for a cocktail to serve for a holiday event, this one works beautifully. Not only delicious but such a beautiful vibrant color. This drink is straight liquor and juice; no fizzy sparkling wine or club soda so it’s perfect for a holiday gathering. Make up a big batch ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to pour.
Want to have your batch less potent for holiday guests and get more servings from your liquor stock? Then go ahead and top it with some chilled sparkling soda water; still great and a bit less alcohol content per serving.
I seriously loved this and know that if I can grace cocktail time with more libations like this then I’m well on my way to embracing the cooler seasons. Cheers!
PIN ‘Blackberry Bourbon and Cranberry Cocktail’
- 2 ounces Crème de Mûre or Crème de Cassis
- 5 ounces bourbon
- 8 ounces cranberry juice
- 2 ounces lemon juice
- 1 1/2 ounces simple syrup (See Notes)
- Whole blackberries and lemon wedges for garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Add all ingredients except garnish. Shake until chilled and pour into an ice filled glass.
- Garnish with whole berries and lemon wedges.
To Make Simple Syrup combine equal amounts water and sugar and heat on medium just until the sugar melts. Remove from heat, pour into a vessel and put in the refrigerator to chill before using.
This cocktail only requires a small amount of simple syrup but any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in a closed container and should last for at least 2 weeks.
Serving a holiday crowd and want to both extend the quantity and lessen the alcohol content a bit? Pour the mixture over ice and leave enough room to top it off with some chilled sparkling soda. Gently stir, garnish, and serve.
Amount Per Serving Calories 344Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 17mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 2gSugar 33gProtein 1g