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Author Notes: It has been a particularly good year for blackberries. I’ve put them in everything from pies to tarts to galettes to salads, so it was only a matter of time before they ended up in my gin. I made a few versions on my own and they weren’t quite right. I convinced my brother to help me develop a recipe. This is what we came up with. And don’t worry if the blackberries are a bit tart -- shocking them in hot sugar will perk them right on up. —Phyllis Grant
For the Blackberry Jam:
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup blackberries
- Place 2 tablespoons of sugar in the bottom of a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add a splash of water. Swirl it around on medium heat until all the sugar is moist. Cook until the sugar just starts to caramelize (you’ll see a bit of caramel color and smell a hint of burning sugar).
- Take off the heat and carefully pour in 1 cup of blackberries. Stir. The mixture will seize up. Don’t panic. Put back on medium heat and keep stirring for about 3 minutes. It’s ready when the berries have released their juices and it looks like jam.
- Cool. Pass through a fine strainer. Use the jam in your blackberry martini or have it on toast (it will keep for a few days in the fridge).
For the Blackberry Martini:
- 2 ounces gin (use a gin that's not perfumey or intense, like Beefeater or Tanqueray)
- 1/4 ounce Grand Marnier (or 1/2 ounce if you want a sweeter drink)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon blackberry jam (or a bit less if you want a tarter drink)
- 3 blackberries
- 1 basil leaf
- Chill a martini glass. Place a large handful of ice in a cocktail shaker or a large glass. Add the gin, Grand Marnier, lime juice, and blackberry jam. Stir vigorously with a cocktail spoon (or shake away if that’s your thing).
- Strain into the chilled glass. Add 3 blackberries. Rub a bruised basil leaf along the rim of the glass. Float leaf on top. Drink.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!