This easy, summery cocktail from bartender Michael Neff, of The Cottonmouth Club in Houston, Texas beautifully balances the heat of ginger beer with cool muddled cucumber and mint. Don't use ginger ale here; you want the fiery stuff, and there are a number of good brands available these days, including Fever Tree, Reed's, Pickett's, and more.
You'll bring out the blackberry flavor by muddling the ripe fruit a bit before shaking — if you don't have a muddler, you can use the handle of a wooden spoon instead. Seek out sweet, soft berries for the best balance. If you don't have vodka on hand, this drink is also great with herbal gin.
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Double Strain Your Cocktail
When want to remove any trace of pulp or even ice before pouring your cocktail into a serving glass, you need to double strain it. Grab a fine-mesh strainer and pour the cocktail through it into the glass.
Read more: How To Double Strain a Cocktail
What if you could mix up a cocktail just as good as the one you had at that bar you visited on vacation without having to buy a whole new bar cart of liquor? Maggie Hoffman will show you just how to do that with her book, The One Bottle Cocktail. Each recipe relies on just one bottle of liquor and will show you how to add in a few extra ingredients to mix a drink that tastes like the one you have at that cool restaurant a few weeks ago.
Blackberry and Cucumber Mule
Makes 1 drink
Prep time: 15 minutes
(1/4-inch-thick) cucumber slices
fresh mint leaves
freshly squeezed lemon juice
simple syrup (recipe below)
2 1/2 ounces
Fresh mint sprig and cucumber slice, for garnish
- For the 1:1 simple syrup:
Combine hot water and sugar in a Mason jar and seal well. Shake until dissolved. Let cool before using and store for up to several weeks in the refrigerator.
Muddle the blackberries, cucumber, and mint in the smaller half of a cocktail shaker. Add the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup and fill with ice. Seal the shaker and shake until well-chilled, about 12 seconds. Double-strain into an ice-filled collins glass.
Pour the ginger beer down the side of the glass, and give it a brief, gentle stir. Garnish with the mint sprig and cucumber wheel, plus a straw if you have one.
Reprinted with permission from The One-Bottle Cocktail by Maggie Hoffman, copyright (c)2018, Ten Speed Press.