One of my favorite muddled cocktails, this blackberry gin and tonic is a delicious way to add bit of sweetness to a classic gin and tonic cocktail. Served over ice with a twist of lime, this refreshing cocktail is the perfect summertime treat.
A Muddled Blackberry Cocktail
If you aren’t familiar with the term muddled cocktails, please allow me to introduce you. A muddled cocktail is one made with a muddler, a bartending tool that is usually 8″ – 10″ long and used like a pestle to mash fruits and herbs to release their juices and oils. Muddlers are usually made from wood or metal and can often be a part of a standard bartending kit.
Mint juleps and mojitos are some of the most common muddled cocktails, but a muddler can be used to add juicy fresh fruit flavor to an array of cocktails. In this blackberry cocktail the muddler is key to mashing up the blackberries so that they mix with the gin and tonic.
For anyone who likes their cocktails fruity and a little bit sweet without added sugar or simple syrup, a muddled cocktail will be a winner. Start with this refreshing blackberry gin and tonic, then muddle your way through sweetening up any of your favorite cocktails.
What You’ll Need
- Gin – The most important ingredient in a gin and tonic.
- Tonic water – The second most important ingredient in a gin and tonic.
- Lime juice – A squeeze straight from the lime gives the freshest flavor.
- Blackberries – You need 2 – 3 for the cocktail and more for garnish, if desired.
- Crushed ice – If your fridge doesn’t dispense crushed ice, a blender is an easy way to make it yourself.
- Sprig of rosemary – An optional garnish, that adds more aroma than flavor.
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How to Make this Blackberry Gin and Tonic Recipe
Like many cocktails, this one comes together in about 5 minutes. While process shots for this simple blackberry cocktail aren’t absolutely necessary to make this cocktail, I’m sharing them anyway.
- Place two to three blackberries in an 8 ounce or larger cocktail glass, then muddle the blackberries to mush.
- Top with crushed ice and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Add gin to the glass with ice, then top off with tonic, adjusting to taste as needed.
- Gently stir, then garnish with fresh blackberries and a sprig of rosemary if desired.
- Serve immediately. Repeat as desired.
Can I use frozen blackberries instead of fresh?
You can absolutely use frozen blackberries in place of fresh in this cocktail. Just allow them a few minutes to defrost before you muddle them. While they may not look as pretty in pictures, I would argue that frozen is actually better. Frozen berries can be kept on hand at all times, they don’t go bad, they tend to be sweeter, and they release more juice than fresh berries.
However, don’t expect to use frozen blackberries as a pretty garnish on your glass. They turn mushy as they thaw and won’t stay on that cocktail stick.
How do I choose a tonic water?
In the drinks aisle at your local store you will probably find an array of choices for tonic water. Some tonic waters, like Fentimans or Fever Tree, are designed as mixers and will give a stronger tonic flavor in the final cocktail. These are they types of tonic water I like best when mixing cocktails.
If you prefer a subtler tonic taste use one that isn’t advertised as a cocktail mixer. Options like Canada Dry or the store brand will be your best choice.
Which gin is best for gin tonics?
The best gin for your gin and tonic is the one you like the best. When photographing this blackberry gin cocktail I used Hendricks gin, which is what I had on hand. I also really love a locally made gin that I can only find at nearby farmers markets. It too works great in this cocktail. If you aren’t familiar with gin, don’t go super cheap or super expensive and don’t be afraid to ask the employee at the liquor store for their input too.
Muddled Cocktail Recipe Variations
As always, my favorite part of creating cocktails at home is that I can switch them up and make them mine. Whether that’s a flavor thing or a what’s in my fridge thing, knowing what to change and what to not mess with is important. Since this is a gin and tonic, you shouldn’t swap out these two ingredients, because then you will no longer have a gin and tonic. These are what you can change.
- Try different berries – raspberries, blueberries, peaches, strawberry, grapefruit, and cucumber are all tasty gin and tonic variations that work well in muddled cocktails. Use roughly the same volume as you would for the blackberries, then muddle them before adding the rest of the ingredients. You can get really creative by combining a couple together. Blueberry peach gin and tonic anyone?
- Swap out your citrus – the lime adds a little bit of tang that cuts the bitterness of the tonic. If you don’t have lime on hand try lemon, clementine, or other citrus fruits.
- Use different ice or none at all – while a standard gin and tonic is served on the rocks, there is no rule that you have to serve yours that way. You can serve it over an large ice ball, use big ice cubes or serve it straight up with no ice. It’s your bar and your rules.
Gin and tonics are one of those drinks that can make it difficult to tell just how much gin is in them. The strong flavor of the tonic can mask the flavor of the gin and the effects can creep up on you before you know it.
However, the opposite is true too. You can make low alcohol gin and more tonics, or omit the gin for a non-alcoholic version that will allow you to imbibe with fewer alcoholic consequences. The choice is up to you, but whatever you choose, please drink responsibly.
How to Store
There is no such thing as leftover gin and tonics, because you should mix them as you need them. The only things you can really prepare in advance is to cut up the limes and crush the ice. Since these are so easy to make, I would not recommend gin and tonics for pitcher cocktails.
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Blackberry Gin and Tonic
- 1 ½ ounce of gin
- 4-6 ounces tonic water
- 1 teaspoon lime juice (fresh)
- 2 – 3 blackberries (plus more for garnish)
- Crushed ice
- Sprig of rosemary (optional garnish)
- Add two or three blackberries to bottom of a glass, muddle until lightly mashed
- Top with crushed ice and fresh lime juice
- Add the gin and the tonic to fill the glass, leaving room for more ice if needed.
- Stir well or serve as is with the fruit in the bottom (stir lightly to only mix the gin and tonic).
- Optional: Garnish with blackberries and a sprig of rosemary.
- Serve immediately.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.