While rampant humidity and never-ending discussions on cricket are fair indicators that summer has arrived, nothing heralds the season better than the humble Blackberry.
Sweet, fruity, lush in both colouring and taste, this neat little berry is the true indicator that higher temperatures have arrived.
Now there are a number of other berries that you could use. Strawberries, Blueberries or even Raspberries but nothing has that same sweet, with only a touch tart, hit of fresh flavour to your drink.
There may not be many drinks that use this lustrous dark berry but the ones that do, make the wait well worthwhile.
Now if you live in the country or have mistakenly convinced your friends that foraging sounds like a super cool way to spend that small window of time you have off work, then you could pick your own.
To most of us, those the huge number of stings and scrapes that result from trying to get even a handful of berries really doesn’t make the venture at all worthwhile.
But if you are truly a cocktail connoisseur, the freshly picked versions of these little berries (or weeds of national significance as the government’s environmental departments like to call them, as they grow uncontrollably in the corner of many a country field), are an exploration of flavour.
They can be muddled with almost any spirit and have a sweet tartness that explodes through any drink. Muddle them with Irish Whiskey, mix them with Gin or try for a Tiki style drink with all the Rum you possess and the Blackberry will quench your thirst in the best way possible.
While Blackberries have always had a place in cocktail lore, mainly through the use of the liqueur Créme De Mûre, it was in the 1980s when Englishman Dick Bradsell created the cocktail known as the Bramble that these tasty little berries came into their own at the bar.
With the advent of the craft cocktail movement, Blackberries have definitely claimed their place and both professionals and home-mixologists alike have capitalized on the sweet-tart tang of these berries to create a myriad of modern libations.
So whether you’re lying by the pool (or just wishing you were) we have pulled together a selection of tasty Blackberry delights that put the ‘mûre’ back in summer.