Major Bailey’s Bramble Cocktail Recipe

Major Bailey’s Bramble Cocktail Recipe

Major Bailey’s Bramble Cocktail Recipe

Last weekend, we were invited to a showing of Darius Frank’s award-winning art exhibit Things I Love/d, his memorial to things that have been lost in DC’s quickly changing cityscape and his tentative embrace of what’s new. The contest Frank won was sponsored by Bombay Sapphire; and they were kind enough to not just host the contest but to bring the drinks as well. The art was moody and evocative. The drinks were light, bright, simple, and refreshing. Sadly, the exhibit is now closed, but you can read more about Frank and his project here. And we can help with the drinks.

The event’s publicity materials claim that today’s drink is based on a Prohibition era DC drink called the Major Bailey. We couldn’t find any background on that particular origin story. The only Major Bailey recipe we ran across was a gin-based mint julep that Difford’s Guide ascribes to Trader Vic.

Doesn’t matter. This drink tastes great. It looks great. And it’s pretty easy to make. It’d be perfect for a backyard party where you want to have a cocktail, but don’t want to end up stuck behind the bar the whole time. You’re essentially making your own gin lemonade in the mixing glass, and then adding a little liqueur for color and depth.


  • 1.5oz dry gin
  • 3/4 oz of lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz of simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz water
  • 1/2 oz Creme de Mure (blackberry liqueur)
  • lemon wheel, for garnish


  • Pour creme de mure into the bottom of a highball glass.
  • Fill the glass with crushed ice
  • Combine the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and water in a cocktail shaker.
  • Add ice to above the level of the liquid.
  • Shake for about 20 seconds.
  • Straining the shaker ice out, pour the gin and lemon mixture over the crushed ice in the highball glass.

Roberts & June