Blackberry Martini

recipe image

Blackberry Martini
  • Test Kitchen-Approved
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

  • Serves
  • For the Blackberry Jam:

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1 cup

  • 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


  • 1

    basil leaf
  1. For the Blackberry Jam:
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  1. For the Blackberry Martini:
  2. 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).
  3. Strain into the chilled glass. Add 3 blackberries. Rub a bruised basil leaf along the rim of the glass. Float leaf on top. Drink.

Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.

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