Blackberry Sage and Bourbon Cocktail is sweet, tart, woodsy, and boozy – a perfect spring and summer treat.
A Coupe by Another Name Would Just be Tall and Boring
Before we talk about this Blackberry Sage and Bourbon Cocktail I whipped up, we simply must talk coupes. By which I mean breasts. No, I mean champagne glasses, but I got your attention didn’t ?
Amy Azzaretto, in this article from Food52, explains how the coupe glass has always been rumored to be modeled after a breast:
The glass is often thought to be modeled on a breast — but not just any breast: Rumor has it that the shape was inspired by Helen of Troy, or Marie Antoinette, or some even say Madame de Pompadour. (After all, the Greeks did drink out of a breast-shaped cup called a mastos cup, which was complete with an articulated nipple.
Which reminds me of that scene in Friends? In the first season I think (wow, I just did that didn’t I?) where the psychiatrist Phoebe breaks up with chides them about their giant coffee cups. He says they “May as well have nipples on them!”
That the glasses are modeled after breasts doesn’t seem strange at all to this nursing mama though. It seems perfectly natural!
Fables that Fib
Alas, the fabled story of the coupe glass being modeled after the breasts of Marie Antoinette is not true. But as Amy Azzaretto goes on to explain, “It was, after all, the Champagne vessel of choice for ‘20s flappers, and Hollywood leading ladies from Marilyn Monroe to Sophia Loren were frequently photographed imbibing from a coupe in their heydays.”
And I confess, I absolutely adore them. I collect little vintage glasses I find at flea markets and scrap stores. Though it was not until I wrote this post that I learned the fable.
I hope this doesn’t say very much about me! Blushing emoji.
What is a Coupe Anyway?
A coupe glass is a round orb on a typically short stem, and while it was originally designed for champagne, it has been replaced as the du jour shape for serving bubbly. This is actually because of the bubbles – champagne flutes preserve the bubbles in the champagne longer.
While champagne afficionados may scoff at coupe glasses for their bubbly, cocktail afficionados have embraced them. Andrew Craig says in this article for Bespoke Post that “The coupe is still widely used, but for cocktails rather than champagne – odds are, if you order a cocktail in a decent mixology joint, this is the kind of glass used.”
Which kind of makes me want to run right out to a decent mixology joint right now, how about you?
Let’s Not Forget Paris Of Course
The coupe glass is far and away my preferred glass for champagne (even though that’s supposed to be in a flute now) and certain cocktails. I always naturally preferred it, probably because like a lot of writers I am super fascinated by 1920’s Paris. I like to imagine Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds – all the great names from the expatriate American community in France in the 20’s at a salon together, coupe glasses in hand.
In this, our collective imagination, they all seem to be holding coupe glasses of champagne that magically never empty, and roaring with laughter and hot ripe talent late into the night.
Growing up, I wanted to be like that.
On the verge of something.
Brimming with expectation, and an equally brimming, frosty and delicate glass in my hand, full of champagne. As a young teen from a not-so-well-off family champagne sounded like the ultimate luxury.
To young me, it was a package. Champagne, talent, success, late nights, artistic friends. This is probably why I moved to New Orleans in MY 20’s. New Orleans is a place you can roar late into the night no matter what decade you’re in.
Young me is still surprised that I now know these things about champagne: I like very dry champagne, not sweet. Or “sparkling wine” as champagne is a trademarked name and only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France can legitimately be called champagne. Cava, sparkling wine from Spain, is my preferred brunch bubbly.
At Home Luxury
These days, I am much more apt to make a cocktail for my coupe collection. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with Blackberry and Sage, which you can see in this Buttermilk Sage and Blackberry Icing Doughnut recipe.
This Blackberry Sage and Bourbon Cocktail will make you feel a little of that Roaring 20’s Vibe, I think. It is SO pretty in it’s little glass, and you can adjust the sweetness to taste. While I used to be a sweet cocktail girl, now I prefer my drinks more on the herbal side, or even better, smoky and dark.
This is great for summer, though, and when you serve it chilled with some sugared blackberries it’s a great signature cocktail choice for either a brunch or evening event. The combination of the sweet and slightly tart berries, with the woodsy element of sage, a little ginger zing, and the bite of the bourbon makes, I think, for a combination that is delicious and interesting enough to make you want a second glass!
Spekaing of, if you’d like a set of your own coupe glasses, check out these on Amazon. I like them because they include a pitcher! And to make craft cocktails, you probably want a bar set so that you have a cocktail shaker and strainer. I like this set here.
What’s your favorite cocktail? Do you have a glass preference? Is that just my OCD?
Blackberry Sage and Bourbon Cocktail Recipe
- 1 Cup Blackberries
- 6 Leaves Fresh Sage, cut into thin strips
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Shot Bourbon Per Glass
- 1 Bottle Ginger Beer
- 6 Extra Blackberries and Sage Leaves for Garnish
- Begin by preparing a blackberry and sage simple syrup. Place 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water in a pot and bring to a rolling boil.
- Boil for 3 minutes to make sure all the sugar is dissolved, then add 1 cup of blackberries.
- Stir the blackberries in and some will dissolve. I stir for about an additional 3 minutes, until I still have a fair amount of blackberry pulp, but the mixture is purpley black.
- Add the 6 sage leaves cut into strips.
- Stir to combine the sage, and then pour the entire mixture through a strainer into a jar.
- Chill for 2 hours or more.
- In a cocktail shaker mix 1 shot of bourbon, 1 shot of ginger beer, and 1 tablespoon of the blackberry simple syrup.
- Shake the cocktail mixture, and then pour through a strainer into a coupe glass.
- Make some sugared blackberries by rolling fresh berries in granulated sugar. Pierce two sugared berries with a cocktail pick, and add a sage leaf. Place on top of glass, and serve.
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