Ginger Bramble New Year’s Cocktail

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ginger bramble cocktail dark food photography

Happy December! The year is gonna be over in just a few more weeks and I’ve got a New Year’s cocktail for you to celebrate in style. It’s a variation of the bramble – a drink made with gin, lemon juice, blackberries, creme de mure (a blackberry liqueur) and simple syrup. In my version I skipped the blackberry liqueur and infused the simple syrup with fresh ginger. I actually did a side-by-side comparison between regular simple syrup and the ginger simple syrup and while the ginger does not come through very strongly as ginger flavor it does very much smoothen the drink and it makes it much less harsh. I liked it a lot.

As you can see I cooled the drink with dry ice in the top photo for extra effect but you can use regular ice as well, it’s still quite pretty.

ginger bramble new years cocktail dark food photography
Food Photography and Styling: This was my very first time using dry ice and I have to say it’s quite difficult to handle. I didn’t want the drink to look like a dramatically bubbling cauldron a la Halloween and Harry Potter, instead I was just looking for a bit of extravagance. After a few tries I figured out that it’s best (for the purpose of taking a photograph) to smash the dry ice into a powder and spoon the powder onto the drink rather than plopping chunks of it into the liquid. I took a number of exposures and chose this one because I liked how the vapor beside the glass formed a connection between the blackberry dish on the table and the glass. (Since it was difficult to see the blackberries in the glass I set a few onto the small dish in the back to tell the viewer that that’s what was swimming in the drink). As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I used my strobe to light the set and partially blocked it for a dark and dramatic look.

Camera Settings: Nikon D600, 105mm, f/8, 1/125 sec., ISO 200. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight.


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Ginger Bramble New Year’s Cocktail Recipe


SAFETY NOTES: If you’re using dry ice please use proper precautions: Do not touch the dry ice with your bare hands and do not drink any dry ice cubes. This great webpage has detailed instructions as to how to handle dry ice: Betty Crocker | How to Use Dry Ice


For the ginger simple syrup:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 one-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced

For each cocktail:

  • 1 shot gin
  • 1/2 shot ginger simple syrup
  • 5 fresh or frozen blackberries
  • a few drops lemon juice
  • ice or dry ice



For the ginger simple syrup:

  1. Add sugar, water and ginger to a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Let cool, then strain into a glass container and cover.
  4. You can keep the syrup in the fridge for up to one week.

For the cocktail:

  1. Add gin, syrup, fruit and lemon juice into each glass. (Add lemon juice to taste).
  2. Add a few ice cubes or a small piece of dry ice.
This entry was posted in Drinks.


    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Kim! It was quite a delicious cocktail, made it again last night since I still had some ginger simple syrup in the fridge. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Debs! Yes, do take it easy with these guys, they are powerful even for those with, um, a lot of practice (cough, cough). :)

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