We’re in the home stretch!
I’m bringing my weekly cocktail recipe to you a day early because tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I’m most definitely planning on enjoying it with my family. Plus, I thought it would be great for you all to have one more cocktail recipe in your arsenal for all of the celebrating that is about to ensue.
And I must say I am REALLY proud of this recipe. I have to admit that it was a spur of the moment inspiration. I knew I wanted to share a bourbon cocktail with you this week (not only is it one of my favorite liquors, but it’s also quite fitting for winter and this colder weather), but I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I’ve already shared my favorite hot toddy recipe with you, and I’ve shared some other great cocktails that are definitely “Christmas-focused” (see here, here and here), so I wanted to whip something up that would still be great for the holiday but would also be something to enjoy for the rest of the winter too (because, alas, life does go on after Christmas.)
I was also trying to think of a cocktail where you folks would already have most (if not all) of the ingredients on hand (because who wants to make a last minute run to the grocery store at this time of year? Not me!) I don’t know about you but often I see a cocktail that looks amazing and then when I get to the ingredient list I have no idea where I would find half of the “accoutrements.” That will definitely not be the case with this bad boy.
So, enough of the lead-up! Let’s get to this Blackberry Bourbon Jammer with Fresh Rosemary. I’ve been thinking about jam cocktails for a while now, ever since one of my favorite Santa Barbara restaurants, The Lark, started featuring them on their cocktail menu. We also just so happen to have a whole shelf in our pantry dedicated to my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s homemade jams and jellies (insert heart eyes emoji here, thanks Diana!) While scanning through the options my eyes caught on the blackberry jam, and I knew it would be a great fit for this little bev.
So we’ve got the bourbon, and we’ve got the jam. We’re off to a great start. I also wanted to add some sort of fresh herb, because herbs just lend so much depth and flavor to a recipe. Don’t you think? (BTW, if you’ve never added fresh herbs to a salad of any sort, you’re really missing out. Do it ASAP.) Seeing as it is winter and we have let our (very small) garden wither away, the only thing I had on hand was our incredibly hearty rosemary plant that we have at our front door.
Bourbon –> Blackberry jam–> Fresh rosemary. I like where we’re going here. The one final component I wanted to add to this winter libation was a touch of tang and acidity. I had been in Whole Foods earlier that day and had stumbled across a “cocktail grapefruit.” [Not a grapefruit, a “cocktail grapefruit.” Have you heard of these before? Because I sure haven’t. But I figured since it had “cocktail” in the name it must be good.] According to SpecialtyProduce.com, a cocktail grapefruit is smaller in size than a regular grapefruit, but is very juicy and sweeter than regular grapefruits, and therefore perfect for adding to cocktails and other beverages. It’s also known as a “Mandelo” because it is a pedigree of the Siamese Sweet pummelo and the Frua mandarin. Interesting! I decided this would be the perfect final ingredient for my “jammer.” [And, no, I do not know if that is an actual category of cocktails. I really wanted to call this a “smash,” but since I didn’t muddle anything it made me feel like a fraud. So I’m just going to ride this jammer train and hopefully it will catch on.]
But I digress. All of this jabbering is making me thirsty so let’s get down to business. I simply add the bourbon, blackberry jam, fresh juice from the “cocktail” grapefruit, and a sprig of rosemary to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, give it a good ol’ shake-shake-shake, and strain it into a glass with even more ice, finishing with a new sprig of rosemary and maybe some soda water if you need some sort of topper to fill the glass. Easy as that!
So as you can see, I’ve tried to keep it simple for you here. If you can’t find a “cocktail” grapefruit, feel free to sub in fresh juice from a regular grapefruit or a pomelo.
This Blackberry Bourbon Jammer is perfect on so many levels. It’s got the sweetness from the jam (but a natural sweetness, nothing so overwhelming that it will give you a gnarly hangover the next day), the tartness from the fresh grapefruit juice (fresh is key, I’m talking squeezed out of the fruit itself), the extra depth of flavor from the fresh rosemary, and the kick from the bourbon.
I don’t know about you, but I’m telling mom and dad to have plenty of these ingredients on hand because, when I get to their house tonight, it’s on! Blackberry Bourbon Jammer for the win.
Blackberry Bourbon “Jammer” with Fresh Rosemary
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 tablespoon blackberry jam
- 2 small sprigs of rosemary divided
- Juice of ½ a cocktail grapefruit or about 2 tablespoons
- Club soda for topping off optional
- Fill cocktail shaker about halfway with ice.
- Add bourbon, jam, one sprig of rosemary and grapefruit juice to shaker. Shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds.
- Strain mixture into a rocks glass filled ¾ of the way full with more ice. Top off with club soda if desired. Garnish with second sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!
Winter in a glass!