Once upon a time, a Soldier, who needed to learn maturity, met a young aspiring chef, who needed to check her attitude. The two fell head over heels for each other on the dance floor, and the rest was history. Today, they’re celebrating nineteen years of marriage with this Blackberry-Vodka Smash libation. This recipe is intended for those twenty-one and over.
Embarrassing Picture Time!
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” they say. “You sure you wanna do this?” is all I get from this one.
Dancing is how we met. It is what we still enjoy doing all these years later.
Do you ever remember what it feels like to be so young and clueless? I have a hard time remembering the days when my biggest decision was what to wear when we went out.
GOD!!! Look at how young we were!
Now, our major decisions are: who do we bequeath the twins to if we both die in a fiery accident? Will Hector make it back from his deployment? What’s wrong with the toilet, and can we YouTube our own fix? Aging is a bitch, you guys.
Six months. That’s how long we’d be married- according to everyone who knew us. What kept us fighting to make it was the desire to prove everyone wrong. So far, so good.
What’s a Blackberry-Vodka Smash?
In short, it’s Hector and Marta in libation form. Blackberry-Vodka Smash reminds me of us. We’re a mash-up of sweet and potent. One feeds off of the other. We’re each other’s hype-man. Like blackberry-vodka, we highlight each other. A bit more profound than a cocktail should be, but it makes sense to me.
The key ingredients are blackberry and vodka, obviously. Some hidden gems are Angostura aromatic bitters, ginger beer, honey, and mint.
How to make it:
Grab two old fashioned glasses and let’s get this started.
Working in a cocktail shaker, squeeze the juice of one lemon, and drop in one stem-full of mint leaves (about eight whole leaves).
Add two tablespoons of honey to the shaker.
Then add four dashes of bitters.
What are Angostura aromatic bitters?
It’s medicine, basically. Dr. J.B. Siegert (a German-born surgeon) developed the tincture for the Soldiers of his boss, Simón Bolívar’s, Venezuelan army. I guess, at some point, some highspeed private decided to add it to some booze and a movement was born. Thank God for Soldiers, I say. Now, bitters are used in a plethora of libations and food recipes- this cocktail being one of the best. Hey! I’m entitled to my own opinion.
Add your ripe blackberries. Try to use the ripest blackberries you can find for this blackberry-vodka concoction. It will contribute dramatically to the overall flavor of the drink. If your blackberries aren’t sweet enough for your liking (if they make your mouth pucker), add a tablespoon more of the honey.
Use your muddler to smash everything together in the cocktail shaker.
Add three ounces of vodka to the shaker along with one handful of ice. Cap the shaker, and shake vigorously until the shaker frosts on the outside.
Strain and Float
Fill your old fashioned glasses with ice and place a small strainer over one of the glasses. Strain half of your blackberry-vodka mixture into each glass- just eyeball it. Hector would give me the glass with more blackberry-vodka syrup in it. He’s just so generous.
Lastly, float ginger beer (non-alcoholic) over the blackberry-vodka syrup, and give it a gentle stir with a spoon. Fizzy drinks don’t do well with aggressive stirring- ask me how I know.
Garnish, Toast, and Enjoy!
Garnish your Blackberry-Vodka Smash with a sprig of mint and a couple of plump blackberries. Toast to many more years of celebrating life together, like we will, and enjoy!
Pin this recipe to your cocktail boards. It’ll come in handy during the upcoming holiday season!
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- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 8 mint leaves (plus more for garnishing)
- 2 tablespoons honey (or more, to taste)
- 4 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
- 1/2 dry pint ripe blackberries (plus more for garnishing)
- 3 oz vodka
- 2 oz ginger beer
- 2 cups ice, divided
- Add the lemon juice, mint leaves, honey, bitters and berries to a cocktail shaker.
- Use your muddler to smash everything together in the cocktail shaker.
- Add the vodka to the shaker along with a handful of ice. Cap the shaker and shake vigorously until the shaker frosts on the outside.
- Fill two old fashioned glasses with ice and strain half of the blackberry-vodka mixture into each glass- just eyeball it.
- Float ginger beer over the blackberry-vodka syrup and give it a gentle stir with a spoon.
- Garnish each Blackberry-Vodka Smash with a sprig of mint and a couple of plump blackberries.
I’m a fan of fire and ice libations. If you love this Blackberry-Vodka Smash, try these: