Blackberry-Limoncello Gin Smash

Summer is in full swing and we're having such a ball with fruity, summery cocktails on the deck! My latest creation: this awesome Blackberry-Limoncello Gin Smash that's a bit sweet, a bit tart, and perfect for a summer BBQ.

Limoncello has always been a bit of a conundrum for me. I'm of Italian descent, and I adore Limoncello. Dave and I drank it all the time in Florence, sitting outside on our patio in the last rays of the evening sun. It's such a wonderful, unique Italian treat. But the reality is that I find it way too sweet, even for an after-dinner sip.

My solution for years has been to mix it with something stronger, usually vodka. It cuts the sweetness without interfering with the flavor, allowing Limoncello to work as a pre-dinner drink too. But recently I've gotten into gin, thanks in large part to the wonderful folks at Caledonia Spirits in Vermont. Their gin is really excellent, and has completely changed my perspective on gin as a whole.

It turns out that gin and Limoncello are a match made in heaven. Gin tends to have a lot of floral, citrusy, and herbaceous notes, all of which pair nicely with lemon. Plus, Barr Hill Gin is made from honey, and honey-lemon is such a classic flavor combination.

Muddling in a few blackberries makes this extra special. They add both sweetness and tang, and the blackberry echoes the juniper berry in the gin. Plus, look at that color! It's gorgeous!

This cocktail is an ode to all things summer: icy gin beverages on the deck, bright tangy citrus, and plump juicy blackberries. We've been enjoying these as happy hour drinks, but the light flavors would pair beautifully with all your summer salads and BBQ items too. I hope you enjoy these as much as we have!

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Blackberry cocktails are so much fun, aren't they?? If you're loving that awesome color, check out these Blackberry Coconut Margaritas too.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • Blackberries (3-5 per drink)
  • Gin (~1.5 oz per drink). As shown above, I love Barr Hill from Vermont, but use what you have.
  • Limoncello (~0.75-1 oz per drink). This is the main sweetening agent, so tweak as needed. You could also decrease the amount of gin to ~1 oz if you want a drink that's less strong.
  • Soda water topper, optional. Personally, I don't like dilution! But if you want a less boozy drink, a little topper of soda water or perhaps tonic would make this gentler.
  • Garnishes. I use a few additional blackberries. A lemon wedge would be nice too. Or honeycomb!
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours) 
  1. In a shaker or cocktail stirring glass, muddle the blackberries until you've extracted all their juice.
  2. Add the gin and limoncello, then shake or stir.
  3. Using a strainer (critical for getting out all the blackberry seeds and pulp!), pour into glasses over ice. If you don't have a cocktail strainer, any small kitchen strainer will work.
  4. Serve over a few big ice cubes. There's no non-alcoholic mixer here, so my preference is to serve these quite cold. 
  5. Garnish them up however you please!


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