Bitterness and Blackberries

Inspired (once again) by what’s in season, this week’s cocktail is all about the blackberries. We started with a straightforward blackberry syrup, then build the cocktail around that.

Brandy as a base spirit, with Unicum to add bitterness and depth. Orange juice and egg whites add body and flavor, and a tiny bit of vanilla extract to round out the flavor.


The result is a fantastic, rich and creamy cocktail that manages to avoid the common pitfall of sickly-sweet berry drinks. The Unicum is a key component that really highlights the herbal side of the blacberries while making the drink a whole lot more interesting at the same time.

I think you could probably skip the orange juice and compensate with a touch more of the blackberry syrup if you wanted to play down the orange flavor, but I wouldn’t skip the egg whites. They really add a lot of body and mouthfeel and finish the drink beautifully.

Blackberries in Budapest

This cocktail pairs Unicum with the sweetness of blackberries for a rich and creamy finish.
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  • 1.5 oz Brandy I used Courvoisier VSOP
  • 0.25 oz Unicum
  • 1 oz Fresh orange juice
  • 0.75 oz Blackberry syrup
  • 0.75 oz Egg White
  • 2 dashes Vanilla Extract

Blackberry Syrup

  • 1 cup Fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ea Zest of lemon I used Meyer lemon


  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker without ice.
  • Dry shake.
  • Add ice and shake to chill and dilute.
  • Strain into a bucket glass and garnish with a piece of orange peel

Blackberry Syrup

  • Add blackberries, zest of one lemon and sugar to a bowl and lightly muddle.
  • Macerate for 3 hours
  • Puree the mixture until smooth
  • Fine-strain with cheesecloth or fine strainer to remove the seeds.