As a bartender, I take pride in my recipes. Normally this recipe is made with blackberries—the flavor and purple-ish color surpass all else. I had to improvise this time, however, because late September. Blackberries or not, this drink goes down right with any type of berry.
What you need: Cocktail shaker, muddler, perhaps a rough day, your berry of choice, fresh squeezed lemon juice (a deliciously tart sub for sugary brand name sour mixes), simple syrup and ginger beer.
Gosling ginger beer is terrific and non-alcoholic, which is good if you’re a generous pourer like me.
How to make it: Simple syrup can be made in under ten minutes: let equal parts sugar and water boil and dissolve, then stir until thick and let cool. Be careful not to let it caramelize.
Drop 2-3 berries in your cocktail glass. Muddle them in 1/2 oz of the syrup and just about (Sam measurement) an oz of lemon juice. The sweetness of the syrup will mellow the tart from the berries and juice. Fill with ice and pour your bourbon — using the glass you’ll drink from is a good way to measure. Leave a little room at the top, dump it all into a shaker and do your thing.
Strain over fresh ice, marvel lovingly, top with ginger beer, and pound.
Beer of the Month: “Valley Bluemonberry”
This gem can be found and downed at R. Shea Brewing in the Valley. While their kitchen is not open yet (they’re “B.Y.O.F” aka Bring Your Own Food), they make up for it with a vast and wildly creative beer selection. Never have I heard of pecan flavoring in a pale ale, or a Bluemonberry, which is simply a cross between a lemon and blueberry. I’m an IPA girl but a sucker for fruit beers and this one is balanced perfectly. It’s a Hefeweizen, which is an unfiltered, cloudy yeast-beer served in a traditional . The Bluemonberry is light with that citrus kick and almost shandy-like in its color. Cheers.
Sam DePaul is a walking cliché leading a double life as a bartender and aspiring screenwriter. This one time Al Pacino was across the street from her in New York.
You can visit R. Shea Brewing at 1662 Merriman Rd, Akron, OH 44313. They’re open Wednesday & Thursday from 4 – 11 pm, Friday & Saturday from 1 pm – 12 am, and Sunday from 1 – 8 pm.