Poisoned Blackberry on National Poisoned Blackberries Day (Michaelmas)
1 1/2 oz Copper & Kings American Brandy
3/4 oz Maurin Quina
1/4 oz Mansinthe
2 dashes Cocktail Kingdom Wormwood Bitters
5-6 Brandied Blackberries*
1 bsp of Brandied Blackberry Syrup
Muddle 3-4 Blackberries and a barspoon of the Syrup they were in with the Bitters in a Mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients with ice to the Mixing glass and give it a stir. Strain into a chilled Cocktail glass and garnish with a remaining Blackberry or two.
Today is the mostly forgotten holiday of Michaelmass, the celebration of that asshole Archangel Michael who kicked Lucifer from heaven and cast him down to the pit. Folklore states that when the Devil hit the bottom he landed on a Blackberry bush and then spat on it in anger, thus poisoning Blackberries after September 29th.
I’ll fully admit that, once again, I chose these ingredients for their symbolism at least as much as their flavor profile. I wanted an initially sweet drink, based somehow on Blackberries, that grew in complexity with the finish, and that somehow needed to happen with Maurin Quina. Not only is Maurin Quina “The Green Devil”, it also “poisons” with Quinine.
I waxed and waned on whether to use a syrup of some sort, beit just a Simple or a homemade Blackberry and chose the recipe above after much taste-testing. I also went back ant forth on whether to use a straight brandy over a Blackberry brandy and, again, the recipe above is what I ended with as it gave me the overall taste I wanted. Now I have a large bottle of Blackberry brandy I’m not sure what else to do with.
*For this I didn’t macerate the Blackberries in Brandy but rather in the Maurin Quina (with a little brandy) as a symbolic “Devil’s Spit” on the Blackberries. The ABV for Maurin Quina is much lower so adding some extra Brandy was to help preserve them better and I decided to steep the concoction in the fridge, just in case. I didn’t get the full steeping I wanted as I thought of doing this well after I would have needed to steep these for a proper month. That being said, I’m not unhappy about how they turned out. Hopefully some will be left after a month and I can give them a try then. Made like I would make Brandied Cherries, here’s the process as it should have been done:
Combine fruit and sugars in a bowl and toss until the fruit is well coated. Cover and let macerate for 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes.
Transfer the fruit to an appropriately sized jar and pour in the alcohols, making sure fruit is submerged.
Cover and store in the fridge for at least one month, longer is better.