Blackberry Gin Sling

Without a doubt the Singapore Sling is the most well-known ‘sling’ drink and my intent was to share one with you today. I was certain I had limes in the fridge. I’ve always got limes in the fridge. Um, nope, not today. So I kept with the intent of a gin drink, revised things a bit and instead of Cherry Heering, lime juice and grenadine I’ve come up with another version with ingredients I had on hand.

A sling is a drink that at one time wasn’t even considered a cocktail, much like flips and toddies. In the 19th century the word "cocktail" was reserved for drinks that contained bitters. But over the years that designation was dropped and now all alcoholic drinks that are a mixture of ingredients are considered cocktails, including the sling.

The typical sling has alcohol, fruit flavors, citrus, sugar and soda water. Truth be told it seems that a large number of the drinks I make could fit that designation and the only thing about a sling that differentiates it from many others is the inclusion of the soda water, something I’ve grown to like very much…just a slight fizz, please, but enough to turn it up just a notch. The most famous of all of them is the aforementioned Singapore Sling, a drink credited to Ngiam Tong Boom, a bartender at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore during the early 20th century. Now that it’s on my mind, I’ll get to it soon…I just need those limes!

Making this type of drink with berries seems to fit for a winter cocktail, as does the inclusion of rosemary; that juniper scent really makes it perfect. I also love the dark, lush color that results — it looks sophisticated enough for a party and yet is easy to make. Using the same ingredients over the course of a year, you could try changing out the citrus and the fruit to have a steady rotation of drinks that are so easy to make.

Blackberry Gin Sling

Blackberry Gin Sling

Serves 2

A refreshing and beautiful cocktail with a hint of rosemary combined with blackberries to make it perfect for the holiday season...and all year round!


  • 20 fresh blackberries
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 oz gin
  • 4 oz lemon juice (lime is great too)
  • 2 oz simple syrup
  • Sparkling soda

For the Garnish:

  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Blackberries


  1. Muddle 10 blackberries and one sprig of rosemary in each of two highball glasses.
  2. Remove the rosemary, add the remaining ingredients except soda and stir. Fill with ice and top with the sparkling soda.
  3. Garnish with another sprig of rosemary and a couple of blackberries.

A version of this post, Blackberry Gin Sling, appeared first on Creative Culinary | A Denver, Colorado Food and Cocktail Blog.

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