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Cocktail: The Michael Ian Blackberry Summer Cooler

The 4th of July is my annual Cocktail Renaissance. With free time (what's that?) I can actually experiment with flavor combinations I am usually too lazy or busy to play with.

This year I happened to be listening to This American Life (totally obsessed) and enjoying a story by Michael Ian Black while alternatively tasting rum and vodka in an effort to truly distinguish the difference (I forgot what I was doing halfway through the experiment). Because I loved the story so very much, I named this delicious cocktail after it's author.

Allow me to introduce the Michael Ian Blackberry. I'm so clever.

If you don't know who he is, look him up. This article is about booze.

Ok, let's do this.


  • Handful of mint
  • 3 fingers of ginger, grated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Small container of blackberries
  • 3 lemons
  • Rum or Vodka
  • Club soda or mineral water
  • Ginger ale

Step One: The first step requires thinking ahead a bit, sorry. Make a simple ginger mint syrup by throwing a handful of mint, three grated fingers of ginger, one cup of sugar, and two cups of water in a pot and warm until hot but not boiling. Turn burner off and set aside until cool, then pour the entire contents of the pan into a jar and refrigerate. You can do this the day before you plan to serve, if you like.

Step Two: Take a small container of blackberries and put into the blender with equal parts water and the juice of 3 lemons. Blend. Fill a glass 2/3 with ice. Take a small sieve and place over the glass. Add one part ginger syrup, then one part berry puree. Toss in a shot of either rum or vodka (the jury is still out on which is better). Top with fizzy water and ginger ale. The ratios depend on sweetness preferences. Garnish with mint and a berry! Beautiful!

If you'd like to make a punch, use the same ratios and just make it in a glass pitcher. Great for lazy days by the pool with the ladies.


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