Enjoy this blackberry blood orange cocktail with a hint of mint. This fresca mixed drink is the perfect summer drink!
It's summer, and all anyone deserves is to be lounging by the pool with a cocktail (or mocktail) in hand. I must be dreaming of this vision. A few weeks ago I got some garden-fresh blackberries and the first thing that popped into my mind was making a cocktail. Looks like I might need a pool (and blackberry blood orange cocktail) break this weekend!
Mastering the art of a good cocktail takes time and practice. Gone are the days of mixing lemonade and cheap vodka, like we did in college. It's time to make the $15 cocktails they serve in fancy rooftop bars. Today, we are going to learn what makes a good cocktail.
You, my friend, are on your way to tricking your friends into thinking you're a master mixologist. I think you'll find that starting with fresh ingredients, and following these five simple elements below is going to allow you to step up your cocktail game without fear!
5 ingredients to the perfect cocktail
The key to a great cocktail is balancing the flavors so they compliment and meld with each other. Rather than having just one flavor note, your cocktail needs to have various layers and depths of flavors. So how do we get this?! There are five major ingredients you need to include in your drink:
- Acidity: Think citrus - lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, etc.
- Sweetness: You could use a simple syrup, fruit juice, honey, agave, or straight up fruit.
- Bitterness: Add a dash of bitters, or use herbs such as mint, basil, rosemary, etc.
- Alcohol: The base of any cocktail, but you can choose to omit if you'd prefer a mocktail. Typically, you are going to use your liquors such as vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whiskey.
- Fizz: Make the drink pop by topping it off with soda, seltzer, sparkling or tonic water, prosecco, or club soda.
What's in today's cocktail
You will see all five elements in our cocktail recipe today. For acidity, we used the juice from blood oranges to give the drink a subtle tartness. We brought sweetness into the drink through our homemade blackberry simple syrup (super easy to make, anyone can do it!). Our bitterness comes into the cocktail through muddled mint. We are using Tito's Vodka, a personal favorite of mine, as our alcohol of choice for this cocktail. Top it all off with some fizz from some sparkling Fresca soda.
If you want to learn more about the basics of vodka (how it's made, types of vodka, and how to choose a bottle you'll love), be sure to check out this vodka 101 post.
Blackberry & Blood Orange Refresher
Blackberry Simple Syrup
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 6 ounces blood orange juice
- 12 mint leaves
- 3 ounces blackberry simple syrup
- 4 ounces vodka
- 4 ounces Fresca Sparkling Flavored Soda
Blackberry Simple Syrup
- Add the blackberries, water, and white sugar to a small saucepan. Turn your stove to medium-high until mixture begins to boil.
- Once the mixture begins to boil, set your timer for five minutes and allow to cook and thicken. Be sure to stir the mixture during this time.
- Remove from heat, and allow the mixture to cool for approximately 30 minutes.
- Using a mesh strainer, separate the liquid from the seeds. Once separated, add the liquid simple syrup to a squeeze bottle, and discard the seeds.
- Add the orange juice and mint leaves to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Using a cocktail muddler or the back of a wooden spoon, muddle the orange juice and mint together until you can begin to smell the mint (approximately 30 seconds).
- Add you simple syrup, vodka, and a handful of ice (about 8 cubes) to your cocktail shaker.
- Shake the mixture until combined (approximately 30 seconds).
- Pour mixture into a cocktail serving glass. Add your Fresca soda.
- Top with additional ice cubes. Garnish with extra blackberries, mint, and an orange slice.
Tell me what you're drinking!
What's your favorite cocktail or mocktail to sip on? Do you have any unique flavor combinations you'd like to try using the 5 ingredients to the perfect cocktail?