Juicy blackberries (which are at peak season in June and July) blended with crisp cucumbers and a squirt of lemon give your typical gin and tonic a bright, fruity remix, and are easy to procure from either your own backyard garden or one of Rhode Island’s many pick-your-own berry farms. Paired with Ornamental Gin from Industrious Spirit Company, where craft liquors are distilled right in Providence with local grains, this drink is a truly a foraged concoction that completes an afternoon spent swinging in a hammock or hosting a garden brunch party.
All of ISCO’s sustainably sourced spirits offer unique flavor profiles, but their gin is especially complex and floral, with hints of lemony citrus and botanicals. Sweetened with fresh berries, it’s ideal for a refreshing summer cocktail. Their Ornamental Gin and other spirits can be found at most local liquor stores, or from their to-go window at their Sims Avenue distillery.
• 1 cup blackberries, washed
• 2 mini cucumbers or 1/2 of a large cucumber, peeled
• 2 Tbsp water
• 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (approx. 1/2 of a large lemon)
• 2-3 shots of ISCO’s Ornamental Gin
• 1 cup tonic water, divided between 3 glasses
• Optional garnish: Fresh mint leaves
1. In a blender, toss the blackberries, cucumbers, water, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Blend until completely combined, about 30 seconds.
2. Place a wire mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the blackberry-cucumber mixture over the strainer. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, press the mixture until all of the juice drains into the bowl below.
3. Pour the juice into a cocktail shaker. Now for the gin – you can use as much or as little as you desire, but I used 2 shots (3 fluid ounces) to keep it light. Drop in a few ice cubes, and shake well.
4. Divide the mixture evenly into 3 glasses (should be about 1/3 cup of liquid per glass), and top with equal amounts of tonic water. Garnish with cucumber slices, blackberries, and/or mint, and enjoy!
Tip for serving a crowd: This cocktail works well as a large-batch recipe, too – simply triple the ingredients! Since it’s a blended bevvie, no additional steps are required to transform this porch sipper into a garden soiree crowd-pleaser.
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