To this day, Lindsay Rae Burleson’s sweet blackberry transports back to her childhood. The bartender spent summer afternoons choking to pluck the fruit from bushes lining the fence of his home highlands when he was young. After eating and eating all the ripe seeds on his family property, he entered his neighbor’s yard for a few seconds.
“I’d get in trouble,” says Burleson, now a bartender and co-owner of Two dog heads in Houston. “My mother always knew, because my little face would be stained. Children can’t hide it when they’re eating blackberries.” At the age of seven, she considered herself an authority in the berry-picking department.
“It got to the point where I knew who to hack. I knew the berries would be bitter – I wouldn’t pick these. Instead, I’d go for the ones that are super dark and almost fall off. Here I thought I was a forger expert, but really I was being a jerk kid who ate blackberries everyone. “
Ever the bartender, Burleson is a fan of using blackberries in cocktails. She especially adores them in a margarita. “I think they are something we don’t use enough of,” he said. “We often just go with crème de cassis in drinks instead of really experiencing those berries.”
The fruit is a central component of Burleson’s summer beverage creation, Under the Texas Sun. The berries are mixed with onion bulbs – another bartender’s item to “dig” like a kid — in an easy-to-make syrup. (This combination might sound disturbing, but trust us, it’s delicious.) Add basil-infused vermouth, lemon, and vodka to the mix and you have a bright, slightly refreshing herbal drink with a lot of fun. sip.
Under the Texas sun
4 to 5 basil leaves, plus extra branches for garnish
1 ½ ons vodka
1 ounce white basil syrup (or plain vermouth) *
¾ ounces of wild growth blackberry syrup *
½ ounces of lemon juice
1 ounce of sparkling water
3 to 5 blackberries, garnish (optional)
onion drink (optional)
- Place whole basil leaves at the bottom of a Collins glass and fill with ice.
- Pour all ingredients except for soda into a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake.
- Strain mixture into the Collins glass and top with soda.
- Garnish with basil sprigs and, if you feel fancy, a skewer of blackberries and onions.
* For the growth of wild blackberry syrup:
3 cups go fre
1 ½ cup sugar granules
2 onion bulbs, chopped
1 cup water
Pour all ingredients into a medium saucepan and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so the sugar does not burn. Turn off heat and stir well. Leave to cool. Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender stick to blend, until mixture reaches a supple consistency. Strain with a fine-mesh filter to remove any bits of onion or blackberry seeds. Pour into a storage container and refrigerate. Syrup will last a week.
* For the Basil Basil Syrup:
750 milliliters (one bottle) white vermouth
20 basil leaves, stems removed
Pour vermouth into a tightly closed container and add basil leaves. Let sit at room temperature cool for 24 hours. Strain and rebottle the liquid, then use to add depth and flavor under the Texas sun, plus Negronis, Manhattans, or even plain soda and lemon water.