Labor Day Libations: Brambleberry Mash

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Fire up the grill...It's that time again, Labor Day is upon us. The last, long weekend of summer vacation marking the time that kids go back to school and it's time to get busy at work again. With hammies and ribs on the coals already, that distinct smell of burning embers wafts through the air and a hankering for a thirst-quenching, possibly buzz-inducing, cocktail pops up like a lightbulb and sounds like a fantastic idea. Celebrate the close of the summertime with this Labor Day libation -- a sweet 'n' sour combo of mixed berries, rum, mint, citrus and a hint of sass with the addition of St. Germain.

Something about this beaming Miami sun, and our cocktail culture, that makes us turn to mojitos and caipirnhas. This cocktail takes its inspiration from both but adds St. Germain to the mix for that je ne sais qua. St. Germain is a French liqueur artesanale made from hand picked elderflowers in the Alps.  All natural and lower in sugar than most liqueurs, it lends floral, fruity nuances to cocktails without that overpowering, cloying sweetness that most mixers have a tendency to do. It's also particularly great when you don't have to worry about that nasty hangover the next day from drinking too many sugary somethings.

So Cheers!, Cin cin!, Salud!, Santé!, and Kanpai!

For one:

  • 2 blackberries, 2 raspberries, 1 medium strawberry (1/2 a large strawberry)
  • 2 oz white rum - Bacardi, Don Q or Meyers will do the trick
  • 1 oz St. Germain Liqueur
  • 1 oz Lemon Scented Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 lime
  • 4 mint leaves
  • splash sparkling water

Instructions:

  • In a shaker, muddle the berries and mint together.
  • Add ice and both spirits.
  • Squeeze the lime juice directly into shaker.
  • Shake vigorously and pour into tall, collins glass.
  • Top with sparkling water.
  • Garnish with a mint sprig and straw if desired.

Recipe Lemon Scented Simple Syrup: Heat 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and the zest of 1 lemon until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool to room temperature.

For many:

  • 4 oz. each blackberries, raspberries and strawberries
  • 2 cups white rum
  • 1 cup St. Germain Liqueur
  • 1 cup Lemon Scented Simple Syrup
  • 4 whole limes
  • 8 sprigs of mint
  • sparkling water to finish

Instructions:

  • Muddle the berries and mint in a pitcher.
  • Combine with all of the liquids.
  • Add the juice from the whole limes.
  • Stir and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes.
  • To serve: Pour 3/4 in a glass full of ice and top with sparkling water.
  • Garnish with a mint sprig and a straw.

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