I like cocktails that have a seasonal twist. When Templeton Rye sent me a bottle of their whiskey to try in celebration of Father’s Day, it gave me the perfect opportunity to add a touch of summer with this Blackberry Scofflaw Cocktail.
I grew up with more blackberries in a single summer than most people eat in a lifetime.
For as far back as I can remember, at least one side of the property of my parents home was lined with blackberry plants that would produce buckets all season long. These then turned into bag after bag of berries that filled our freezers throughout the rest of the year.
And not those puny berries that are so tart you can barely eat them. These were berries that grew to the size of a cherry tomato. They were so plump that if you squeezed a little too hard while picking them, splatters of juice could find their way from your forehead down to your ankles.
Sweet is an understatement when describing these berries. They melted into pure sugar in your mouth, leaving behind a few crunchy seeds.
Many of my memories lead back to blackberries. My childhood, my summers…my dad.
I just returned from a visit this week, and while I missed blackberry season this year, he made sure to show me all the plants that were drooping with the weight of green berries, ready to ripen. It’s going to be another plentiful season of him picking and my mom turning them into blackberry dumplings, cakes, and jams.
A few weeks ago, I received the opportunity to review Templeton Rye Whiskey in celebration of Father’s Day. I’m no stranger to whiskey, as I’m sure you know if you’ve been reading long, but rye is rather new to me.
Templeton Rye is based on a Prohibition era recipe and aged in charred new oak barrels. Known as “The Good Stuff”, it has a pretty cool history that is definitely worth a visit to the Templeton Rye website.
I found the whiskey to be smooth, but with some peppery notes so I needed to find the right cocktail to feature it. After a little research, I found the Scofflaw, a cocktail invented in Paris during our Prohibition. What caught my attention in this cocktail was the grenadine. I didn’t want something too sweet, but I needed a way a to incorporate a splash of syrup.
Let me explain.
My dad isn’t much of a whiskey drinker. When I was growing up he was always more of a Miller Lite guy. So to create a cocktail with rye in true Father’s Day spirit, I needed to incorporate something that I associate with him.
So in this cocktail I substituted the grenadine with a blackberry syrup. It adds just a little bit of sweetness and summer flavor without overtaking the rye. With a dash of orange bitters and an orange peel garnish not only do you have a delicious balanced cocktail, but those deep dark colors make a for a pleasantly dramatic presentation.
Cheers and Happy Father’s Day!
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fine granulated sugar
- 3 oz. rye whiskey
- 1 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
- 1 oz. blackberry syrup
- 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 3 to 4 dashes orange bitters
- Blackberries and orange peel for garnish
- To make the syrup, place the blackberries, water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often to smash the berries and extract the juice.
- Transfer the syrup to a small strainer set over a cup or bowl. Continue to smash the berries and strain the syrup until you have at least 1 ounce. Discard the pulp and seeds and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
- To make the cocktail, add the rye, vermouth, syrup, lemon juice and bitters to a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and stir well for about 30 seconds.
- Strain the cocktail into two small glasses. Garnish with blackberries and orange peel and serve.
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