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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blackbird - Fun with Blackberries Part One

Back in the days of our ancestors, I am sure that it was totally common to bring in a harvest and then exclusively eat a certain type of vegetable or fruit for that brief season. I suppose that taking a modern person back to those times you would get the response, “We’re not eating that again? Are we?”

In modern times, in our developed economies, we are more accustomed to eating whatever we want whenever we want. Strawberries in the winter; apples in the spring. Not necessarily a good thing in some ways, but it is what it is. Every once in a while, you go to the store and buy something that is a little more of an extravagance. Blackberries are not cheap. Even if you don’t need them all for what you are using them, it seems such a waste to allow them to rot. So now you have to try to incorporate them into other things that you had not originally planned.

I had picked out a drink recipe, Blackberry Mint Margarita, and posted it the other day. We didn’t use all the blackberries. Now we have to find something else in which to use them. What about another drink? We have now finally finished them, four days and three drink recipes later. I am certainly not feeling sorry for myself. They were all wonderful, but it does explain the spate of blackberry drink recipes.

So here we have a Blackbird. It’s actually a poor name for such a nice drink. There I go complaining about drink names again! Whatever! Blackbirds are annoying and very territorial. They tend to descend on an area make a racket and chase everything else away. They are also the bane of farmers. As a drink, I’ll stop complaining. This is a wonderful drink with only a slight undertone of herb and the fruit comes to the fore. I found this to be a very interesting drink, fruity with just the hint of lemon, yet not lemon; lemon herb. It has a husky favor, a little glove on the tongue type of flavor. Try it and see if you don’t agree.  We actually found this to be our favorite of the blackberry drinks.

Don’t ever forget to toast the one you love, and enjoy.

I present you courtesy of Food and Wine magazine and Lantern in Chapel Hill NC:

A Blackbird (for two)


8 blackberries
8 lemon verbena leaves plus two sprigs (we used lemon balm from our herb garden)
1 ½ ounces simple syrup (2:1, see post)
3 ounces gin (we used New Amsterdam Straight Gin)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
Club soda to top off

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries with the lemon balm (or verbena, if that’s your choice) and the simple syrup. As a point of note, Connie has found that muddling these sequentially yields better results. You can crush the blackberries, add the herb and get that flavor going, then the simple syrup to get the emulsion. That way you have rendered the berries into a syrup, but not totally trashed the herb. He’s no chemist, but I trust him implicitly (when it comes to bartending).  For the most part, he does need adult supervision, but that is a post for another day!

Add the ice, gin and lime juice. Shake like a fool!

Strain into ice filled rocks glasses, stir in the club soda, garnish with the sprig. Refer to the directions above about the one you love.

FOOD and WINE is giving away a year-long subscription to a lucky reader from Kate's Kitchen. Click here to enter and read official rules here.

This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.


Anonymous said...

I love fancy new cocktails :) This looks delicious! Perfect for my Saturday night! Now i just need to hunt up some blackberries.

Lizzy said...

Another fun cocktail! I love the idea of blackberries in a drink :)

Kim - Liv Life said...

Haven't heard of this one!! I have copied it and just might have to bring it out at our next event!

Jan/Thella @ I Love. Therefore, I Cook. said...

yeay something to add to my mixology list :) thanks for posting this cocktail!

Chef Dennis said...

it sounds like a lovely cocktail! I might have to substitute vodka for the gin thought! Its nice to come up with new drinks, makes it more interesting !

Anonymous said...

I might have to try something similar with the lemon balm invading my backyard. I wonder if folks would tolerate the voracious growth of mints if they didn't smell as nice as they do. :-)

Good call re: the gin choice. New Amsterdam has some serious citrus notes, which pairs nice with the other ingredients. It's one of my recommendations to folks who say they don't like their booze as fresh as a Carolina Pine Forest.

Island Vittles said...

They look delicious and thirst quenching for the last few hot days we have left...and we have a lot of blackberries growing around here! Thanks for the ideas. Theresa

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great cocktail, I love the color!

The Mom Chef said...

The drink looks fantastic. Don't tell anyone, but my dad actually has a pellet rifle that he uses on any crow (not blackbird) that dares to descend into his shooting range (and he lives in very populated Chicago burbs, not the boonies).