What inspired you to create this cocktail? “Reading about Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon and its tasting notes immediately made me think of black pepper and vanilla. I went to the grocery store and saw these gorgeous blackberries and it just fell into place.”
When would you serve this drink? “The beauty of this drink is that blackberries are in season, so although many people associate the Old-Fashioned with winter, this is a nice spring version.”
What music would you pair it with? “Definitely jazz! This is a sophisticated cocktail and would pair perfectly with jazz.”
What food would you pair it with? “A rich grilled meat dish. The whiskey would be fantastic with beef, but the citrus and blackberries would add a refreshing element.”
Name the person (dead or alive) you’d like to make this cocktail for. “I would make this cocktail for my dearly departed friend Dave Pickerell. He was a master distiller and lover of all whiskey, and a really big fan of my work. I think he would have really loved this drink.”
By Cris Dehlavi
- 2 oz Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon (Order on Drizly)
- .5 oz Blackberry Syrup*
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Glass: Old-Fashioned
- Garnish: Lemon peel and two blackberries on a skewer
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into an Old-Fashioned glass. Add a large ice cube and garnish with a lemon peel and two blackberries on a skewer.
- 1 cup Fresh blackberries
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 Vanilla bean, sliced in half lengthwise
- .25 tsp Cracked black pepper
- 3 cups Water
Add all the ingredients to a saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring, until it begins to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to fully cool. Finely strain all the pulp out and refrigerate.
Cris Dehlavi is a talented Columbus, Ohio, bartender.
Thank you Heaven Hill Bartender of the Year for partnering with Half Full on the Bartenders At Home cocktail video series.
Interview has been condensed and edited.