As the weather has started to get warmer, our tastes in cocktails have trended towards lighter spirits like gin and vodka. We also love the spring berries that have come into season that are perfect for lending some wonderful color and flavor to cocktails. With a warm weekend coming up, we wanted a cocktail that would be perfect for sipping on the patio with friends while watching our kids roam around our backyard! Our next cocktail, the Blackberry and Tangerine Vodka Tonic, is a perfect drink for enjoying a lazy weekend!
The classic vodka and tonic is really one of the most simple cocktails you can make, really just vodka and a splash of tonic water over ice. Some folks add a squeeze of either lemon or lime to add a bit of tartness and a splash of color in an other wise plain looking cocktail. A clean simple cocktail, the vodka tonic is a refreshing blend of complex tonic and bright citrus and is perfect for sipping on a warm day.
Of course as cocktail bloggers, we look at a simple cocktail like this as a great foundation that we can build off of to make something new. By adding a little fresh fruit, a syrup or even bitters, you can take a simple cocktail and change its characteristics completely! We recently used this idea on the vodka tonic’s more complex cousin the gin and tonic to make a great spring sipper, the Strawberry Limeade Gin and Tonic which is one of our favorite drinks!
A few weeks ago we had used some tangerines to make a great tequila cocktail (exclusive on Instagram, which if you aren’t following us on Instagram you are missing out on a lot!) and fell in love with the fresh sweet citrus that is unique to the tangerine. Different than an orange, and sweeter than a lemon or lime, the tangerine works really well to add a brightness to our Blackberry and Tangerine Vodka Tonic.
One great combination of flavors is fresh berry and citrus. We had a nice set of fresh spring blackberries in our fridge that we thought would be perfect to add some nice flavor to a vodka tonic.We initially thought we could just throw some blackberries in with the tangerine and vodka tonic, but we felt the blackberry flavor wasn’t bold enough. We wanted to find a way to get more blackberry flavor into the drink, but didn’t want to muddle the blackberries because that tends to release the seeds of the blackberry which makes the drink feel less elegant.
We recently had a night out a a local cocktail bar where they served a drink that used an infused ice cube to add flavor to the drink. This concept was really cool because as the ice cube melted, the flavor and appearance changed as more flavor was added into the cocktail. We decided to try this technique by making a blackberry syrup infused ice ball!
The syrup ice ball solution solved the seed problem and added a big bold flavor of blackberry as the ice ball melted! A big bonus was it also looked really cool (you might notice the color of the cocktail changes in the pictures as more of the blackberry syrup mixes into the drink!)
The pairing of blackberry and tangerine is a nice combination, the sweet tangerine helping enhance the berry flavor while also bringing a great citrus aroma. Clean, cool and crisp, plus really cool looking, the Blackberry and Tangerine Vodka Tonic is going to go in our spring and summer drink rotation! Cheers!
- 2 oz Vodka
- 4 to 6 oz Tonic
- 3 Tangerine slices
- 1 Blackberry syrup infused Ice cube (see below for recipe)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 6-8 Blackberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Water as required
- Add vodka, tangerine slices and ice ball to a glass
- Top with tonic.
- Garnish with a tangerine slice.
- Place sugar, blackberries and water into a small pan.
- Bring to a boil and allow the berries to "pop" and release the juice.
- Cool and strain.
- Add syrup into ice cube trays or molds and top with water.