Another Labor Day has come and gone, and fall is on its way. As we transition into cooler months, we're bombarded with pumpkin spice this, and pumpkin spice that. Hell, I even made the Not Your Basic Pumpkin Spice Latte in October last year. But while fall means something different to us Floridians than it does to other states (read: it's friggin' warm), I'm not eager to incorporate the flavors typically associated with autumn until the temps begin to drop. Which brings me to my compromise: The Orange Spiced Bramble.
To those unfamiliar, the Bramble is the creation of cocktail maestro Dick Bradsell, who's credited with inventing the drink in London in the early 1980s. He used a gin sour as its base, as well as those late-summer delights known as blackberries. For this week's cocktail, I implemented Bradsell's end-of-summer flavors while also introducing some fall flair by infusing our Bramble's gin with orange spice tea.
Infusing tea into a spirit is really simple, and it's an easy way to add one-of-a-kind flavors to your cocktails. All you need is a jar and a little bit of time and patience. It's important to not over-steep your tea, though, as it will turn bitter. I also found it’s best to double up on the tea and steep for less time — two hours max. Because of its mild flavor, I put G&J Greenall's London Dry Gin to use, but feel free to go with your favorite brand or even Bradsell’s pick, Plymouth Gin.
The Orange Spiced Bramble is everything you want during this in-between seasons stage we're in. It's tart, fruity and slightly sweet, with spice notes from the tea to remind you fall is right around the corner.
Orange Spiced BrambleMakes 1
Orange Spice Tea-Infused Gin:
2 orange spice tea bags (I used Bigelow)
12 ounces gin
In a sealable jar, add two orange spice tea bags and pour in gin. Give jar a gentle shake, then seal and allow to sit for 2 hours. (Use four tea bags for a full 750-mililiter bottle of gin.)
1.5 ounces orange spice tea-infused gin
.5 ounces simple syrup
Juice of half a lemon
.75 ounces blackberry liqueur
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add gin, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake until chilled. Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice and strain in ingredients from the shaker. Add more ice to the rocks glass, essentially creating a snow cone effect. Drizzle blackberry liqueur on top. Garnish with a lemon peel and blackberry.