Blackberry Bourbon Blast [cocktail recipe]


Blackberry Bourbon Blast

Like Little Red Riding Hood, I skipped along the NC mountains. Carrying my little white pail, I searched for the juiciest blackberries. The only problem was that my big brothers were in search of ME! You see, my mom sent us out every summer day to harvest the wild berries. When we returned home, we had time to play.

So of course my brothers quickly figured out a short cut: Steal their little sister’s blackberries! Oblivious to the Big Brother Bad Wolves, my pigtails and I would bounce down the mountain, happily plucking berries for Mom’s jam.


Picking Blackberries in NC with my brother.

But once I filled my bucket, I would be pounced on, trampled and left in a puddle of mountain mud. No, it wasn’t a black bear. Worse, it was my Brat Brothers! Defeated, I would stomp back home covered in red clay, with thorns sticking out of my pigtails. I itched all over from being tossed into Poison Ivy. Every day!


I may have been little, but Boy, was I tough! Never a quitter, I tried outsmarting my Stealing Siblings. I took off every morning just after the rooster’s first crow. I carved out secret mountain paths and hid behind huge trees. But they would ALWAYS find me AND my blackberries! I couldn’t escape the Blackberry Thieves. So I vowed to one day grow my own blackberries!

(Fast forward a few decades) Upon my return to NC, I bought a blackberry plant at the Farmer’s Market.  I held onto my new plant like a mother cradles her newborn.


Me and my Blackberry Plant at The Farmers Market.

Planting my baby blackberry bush in my garden, I smiled, and waited…


 And waited….


Wait for it..


Almost there…




My very first blackberry!


Harvest time! With my hair in a braid (I outgrew pigtails a few years ago), and equipped with my little white pail, I carefully picked my juicy gems. If only my brothers could see me now! Ha!

It was the perfect Summer day, cooled by the mountain breeze with the sun spot-lighting my blackberries.  In slow motion, berry-by-perfect-berry, I proudly filled my small bucket. My lips turned purple from kissing each sweet, succulent berry.


Then suddenly I heard footsteps! Fast, galloping footsteps, coming closer and closer! No way! Not again! Impossible that my Berry-thief Brothers found me! My heart stopped, I dropped my bucket and frantically turned around…

It was only my rescue Lab chasing a butterfly behind me.  Phew! I exhaled, chuckled, and celebrated MY beautiful blackberries with a well-deserved drink:


My cocktail is:

Remarkably Refreshing

Tastes like Summer!

Sangria-like (You get to eat all the fruit afterwards!)

A tad spicy

Sexier than a Chris Isaak music video

Crisp and sparkling

Tickles your throat

Full of health benefits!

Earthy with bits of fresh basil

Subtly sweet from mountain honey and the sugared rim


A drink I will not be sharing with my brothers! LOL

Worthy of George Thorogood



Blackberry Bourbon Blast

Blackberry Bourbon Blast

Serves 1

Adapted from Self Magazine

Ginger Beer adds a spicy kick. Dark honey sweetens tart blackberries. Basil adds a floral and earthy flavor and texture. And the bourbon, well… Bam!


6 fresh basil leaves, plus a sprig for garnish

12 fresh blackberries, divided

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon dark honey or pure maple syrup

¼ cup ginger beer, chilled (non-alcoholic, available in supermarkets or health food stores)

2 Tablespoons Bourbon (optional – yeah, right!)

Raw sugar for rim



Lightly wet the rim of a rocks glass and dip into raw sugar to coat rim. In glass, gentle muddle basil and 9 blackberries with lemon juice and honey.  Fill glass with ice.  Add bourbon, stir. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with basil and remaining blackberries. Serve immediately. Cheers!



One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” – George Thorogood (Click on link for song)

I am bringing my concoction over to the party at Fiesta Friday #33.

Do you have Summer vacation memories? What’s your favorite Blackberry recipe?

All original Photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

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  • Great post, Lisa. Love the pic with your brother! Also the photos of the berries are beautiful!

    • Thanks, Sue! 🙂

  • Roberta

    Love the story! Unfortunately I know a brother that never grew up and still steals things from his little sister. Maybe some of the yummy looking Blackberry Blasts will help forget about family problems. Do you have enough blackberries to make your own jam yet?

    • Some brothers never change, eh? :((

  • Our brothers went to the same school of meanness! The beverage is perfect for FF! So beautiful!

    • HA! Maybe our brothers graduated together?! LOL Thanks for visiting! Happy FF!

  • Sarah ‘n Spice

    Wow does this sound good!

    • It’s sooo good, Sarah!

  • This beverage looks so amazing, Lisa! I love blackberries and I’m so jealous that you can grow your own blackberries! My backyard is pretty much cement (life in the city for you), which means not much of a garden except maybe a few herbs. This balckberry bourbon looks so refreshing, and I love the sugar rim! I’m going to have to grab a glass for myself at Fiesta Friday. Thanks for bringing it to the party!

    • Thanks, Andrea! You can use your fresh herbs you grow and fresh berries from the market to make your Blackberry Bourbon Blast! Cheers!

  • Loretta

    Wow, if it weren’t breakfast time right now, I’d order one of these right away :). I love the refreshing taste of basil added. Nothing like fresh berries added to the mix, this is a winner!

    • Thanks, Loretta!

  • I really enjoyed this post–both the writing and the photos!

  • arl’s world

    I can remember picking blackberries as a child and then my mom would make ice cream. Your blackberries look so pretty and the beverage looks very appealing for this warm September day. 🙂

    • Blackberry ice cream? I may have to try that next! 🙂

  • Julianna

    This looks amazing!! Have bookmarked it!

    • Yum! Thanks for visiting, Julianna!

  • Naina | Spice in the City

    Love this post! Your blackberries are beautiful and this cocktail looks just perfect!

    • Thanks, Naina! Give the cocktail a try and let me know how you like it! 🙂

  • Ivy

    I loved the story and your drink. Lovely! 🙂

    • Thanks, Ivy!!

  • Oh my gosh…what a great story, Lisa! Haha! What great memories…and the fact that you have your own blackberry bush is awesome. It’s so nice that you can go out and pick your own…and then go inside and make this wonderful drink! It looks, and sounds so delicious. I actually have some blackberries leftover, and I cannot wait to give this a try! <3 Awesome post… LOVE.

    • Thanks, Prudy! Let me know how this recipe compares to your awesome Vodka version 🙂

  • flavourphotos

    Fabulous photos and I really like the look your blackberry drink – sounds wonderful.

    • Thanks very much! Yum!

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