The black & blue bramble

You hear a writer say, “I know a place” and you instantly know that they’re trying to get drunk or laid. Well, my friends, I know a place and I often take Miracle there. It’s called Blue Toad Cidery in Massie’s Mill, Virginia (Miracle’s note: It worked.).

I started going to Blue Toad a few years ago because my buddy, Dustin, is a bad influence and we’d go there and get flights of cider.

(And a flight at Blue Toad is no small order, comrades. Each pour is a generous 5 ounces and they give you at least ten ciders. If you’re not pissfaced by the time you leave, I never want to run into your liver in a dark alley.) They have a whole cadre of great ciders (the winter seasonal, the ginger peach, their cranberry infused—all phenomenal). For a decent span of the year, they have a blueberry cider which is great because it uses real blueberries and doesn’t taste like syrup. Whatever the balance between apples and blueberries needs to be, they have figured it out. 

Without further adieu, the bramble:

  • Get a rocks glass
  • Muddle some blackberries (good, ripe ones) with a sprig of fresh mint
  • Add a smidge of maple syrup (real syrup, folks)
  • Throw in 2 ounces of vodka (I usually use Belle of Dayton)
  • Add ice chips or crushed ice and stir until it just starts to melt
  • Top that glass off with blueberry cider and continue to stir for another 30 seconds

Your friends will thank you. By the way, you’ll know if you’re proportioning this one correctly if you get two cocktails per can. Keep repeating until you get it correct. 

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