Growing up in the northeast, my childhood wasn’t full of picking fresh berries and bringing them home for my mother to mash up into jams and pies and sweet drinks. There were never blackberries by the basket-full sitting on our counters or purple-stained hands and teeth from sneaking a few.
There also wasn’t bourbon. Sure, you could find it sitting on a liquor store shelf, but there was none to steal from kitchen cabinets. I never hid in the back yard and tried my father’s bourbon out of half-curiosity, half-early rebellion. My grandfather never slipped me a sip after my parents left the dinner table. We never ate brown sugar bourbon ribs and my mother has never even tried a mint julep.
Yet there was an inexplicable sort of nostalgia I felt when I drank Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade. Maybe it was a little part of me that had longed for that sort of childhood, or maybe it was just the soothing nature of the drink that made everything feel comfortable and right.
This cocktail is perfect for a summer day, to serve in mason jars to friends or to sip from porch swings or to wash down a pulled pork sandwich with. It’s got enough sweetness and kick to make it a well-rounded drink for the fruity-cocktail-lovers and rugged-whiskey-drinkers alike. Southerner, northerener, easterner, westerner; it doesn’t matter. You’re gonna love it.
Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade
Bursting with fresh blackberry flavor, sweet squeezed lemon, and smooth bourbon, this cocktail is sure to become one of your favorite summer drinks!
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces lemon juice
- 1 ounce blackberry puree, strained*
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- Dash of aromatic bitters
- Dash of sparkling wine
- Mint, to garnish
- Blackberries, to garnish
- Lemon slices, to garnish
- Mix all of the ingredients except the sparkling wine over ice and shake. Top with sparkling wine.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint, fresh blackberries, and lemon slices
* Make blackberry puree by smashing fresh blackberries using a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon and then strain to collect an ounce of the liquid
My wife and I from the south, we never did any of those things as a child, nor did anyone we know. You didn’t do them as a child because no one does. Good looking drink recipie though. Only shortcoming seems that you could only really make it for parties.
Haha maybe then it’s just books and movies that make it out that way. Oh well, it sounds like a nice imaginary childhood so I’ll keep pretending that’s what it was like for some people. I actually didn’t make this for a party, just for myself and my friend. Just curious– what makes it seem like you can only make it for a party?
Sara Gaines says
There were several times when I was growing up in the South that my grandmother warned me not to eat too many of the blackberries I had gathered or we wouldn’t have enough for the cobbler. My grandfather was also a huge fan of slipping me a sip of whatever he was drinking… although he usually didn’t care if my parents saw or not.
Suffice it to say, I plan on making this drink tonight because it looks delicious.
Glad to hear that I wasn’t completely making that childhood up in my head. Let me know what you think of the drink when you give it a try, please! I’m definitely looking forward to your feedback.
Sara Gaines says
They’re fantastic! I made mine with some Maker’s 96 and a bit more blackberry puree (my own preference), but the flavors are really delicious.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed the drink, Sara! Thanks for letting me know =)
Not making it up! I am from the south and did at least 50% of that stuff, and knew people that did the other 50%! Just went to Yard Bird restaurant in Miami, Florida and ordered a Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade! It was great, so I had to google a recipe and it led me to your site! Can’t wait to try to make my own!
I love all things bourbon so I am very excited to try this drink out.
Pete, I’m becoming a big fan of bourbon now, too! I wish it hadn’t taken me this long to realize how great it is. I’m actually posting another bourbon cocktail today, so be sure to check it out if you’re a bourbon man!
This is amazing! Bourbon was always on the liquor shelf growing up and it is always on mine, as those items you dreamed of actually happened in my small town when I was young and it happens in my house with my kids (tradition will continue)
Thanks for commenting, Jenna! I have some more Fall-inspired bourbon recipes coming up in the next few weeks, so make sure to check back if you’re interested in some different ideas!
Kylie P. says
Thank you so much for the recipe!!! I just left Yardbird in Miami where I had this fantastic drink so of course I had to google it. I will be making this ASAP and it won’t be for a party!!! Hahahaha. Tha ks again!!
Happy to hear! Hope you love it just as much as the original!