As we’re nearing Christmas I’m starting to make plans for what we’ll be eating and drinking over the holiday period.  I like to mix it up, to try something new every year and now I’ve been converted to gin, this cocktail will definitely be on the menu.  And it’s not just for Christmas, it’s the ideal way to start your wedding or event drinks reception before the celebrations really begin.

Serves 4, to make this cocktail you will need:

1 cup of blackberries + an additional 8 for the garnish
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 bottle of champagne
1/2 cup of gin
4 long sprigs of thyme
1 cup of ice
Champagne flutes

In a small saucepan, bring blackberries, water, and sugar to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the blackberries are soft and the simple syrup has turned to a bright pink/red colour.

Remove from heat, drain blackberries, and allow to cool.  This step can be done well in advance as the syrup will keep for at least a week in the fridge.

Add 25 ml of gin to each champagne glass.  Next, add two blackberries to each glass, followed by 50 mls of homemade blackberry simple syrup. Fill the rest of the glass with champagne and top with a sprig of thyme in each glass.

Recipe courtesy of The Effortless Chic, photo credit Melissa Valladares