Are you watching Orange is the New Black? If you are like me, then you burned through 13 episodes of this Netflix series as fast as you could…cause it’s pull-your-hair-out amazeballs. I mean, who else freaking wants to punch that confused, old man, Healy in the m-fing face?! He literally makes me shudder with rage and shriek at the TV and want to peel my own face off…or have a drink. He, and many other characters on that show…mostly the overly righteous, morally corrupt, prison officials and that crazy-B, Pennsyltucky. Dudes (and ladies) got no business judging, as most of them are more corrupt than a lot of the prison population they’re responsible for. Don’t even get me started on Pornstache…this show makes my already swear-y nature even more pronounced…if you couldn’t tell. I should just calm down and opt for the drink thing, since being faceless sounds like a lot less of a fun time.
Aaaand, that’s my segue for this Blackberry Ginger Smash. Smooth…So, let’s discuss this cocktail! I did some quick internet sleuthing and found that a smash is a cocktail made by muddling mint with sugar, sometimes fruit, then you add booze and soda. I like dat.
So, I made this Blackberry Ginger Smash with juicy blackberries, spicy ginger syrup, fresh mint, bracing gin, a squeeze of bright lime, and some bubbly soda water. I added a Candied-Ginger-Mint Sugar for rimming the glass, for good measure. Maybe it’s just me, but often I find blackberries at the store to be a little tough, dry, and flavorless…this time, I found super juicy blackberries. The type whose tender skins yield at the gentlest touch, the kind I used to pick off the wild brambles every childhood summer in the Sierra Foothills. They were perfect gems and I was so excited to smash them into this drink. Oh! And to muddle, without a muddler, I used my friend Megan’s tip to use a honey dipper. That gal, she’s a smart cookie. So, if you can find the best blackberries you can and don’t know what to do with them…this drink is a good place to start…plus, it’s an excellent alternative to TV-shrieking/face-peeling.
Blackberry Ginger Smash
This is a really informal recipe, adjust the quantities to taste…even eliminate the gin for a refreshing soda. I like to layer this drink so there’s an ombre sitch happening. I find adding the ice after muddling but before adding the lime, gin, and soda, helps with this effect.
Makes 1 drink
4-6 juicy blackberries
3 big mint leaves
1/2 ounce ginger syrup
1 lime wedge
1 ounce gin
Candied-Ginger-Mint Sugar plus a lime wedge for garnish.
Place the Candied-Ginger-Mint Sugar on a plate. Take a wedge of lime and rub it along the edge of your cocktail glass, dip the glass into the sugar to coat the rim.
Place the blackberries, mint, and ginger syrup in the bottom of a rocks glass. Smash/muddle until the mint is bruised and the blackberries are squished. Add the ice cubes, followed by a squeeze of lime, gin, and top of with soda water.
Make quick work of chopping the ginger by using a mini food processor…otherwise, get friendly with your knife.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped, fresh ginger root
1/2 cup water
In a saucepan combine all of the ingredients and heat to dissolve the sugar, bring to a boil, boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof jar, cool to room temperature, seal with a lid or cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Candied Ginger Mint Sugar:
2 tablespoons chopped, candied ginger
1 tablespoon fresh mint
2 tablespoons sugar
In a mini food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse! The end.