July 2015 Cocktail Contest: Berry Cocktails

The Results are In and the Cocktails are Berry-licious

Updated: August 20, 2015

Berries, those delicious little fruit that fill our gardens and the markets from spring through summer. They are delicious, sweet, and oh-so perfect for cocktails. They were the subject for the July 2015 cocktail contest and it shaped up to be an excellent collection of cocktails.

After much deliberation, I was able to choose a winning cocktail and it is quite a delight.

The drink is the French Quarter Smash and it was created by Washington D.C. Bartender Jason Rogers and...MORE it is quite the interesting mix. The mix includes moonshine and brandy and uses almond, lemon, and mint as accents. The berry element comes in via blueberry preserves and it all comes together quite nicely. Get the French Quarter Smash recipe...

Congratulations to Jason and thank you for sharing such a fun drink!

There are many other great recipes in the collection below and each warrant notice. While I recommend try each and every one of them, there are two that I particularly enjoyed and both of the recipes are just below Rogers' entry.

Moonshine makes another appearance in Eddie Mcghie's "Red Thunder" Blackberry Sangria. In true sangria fashion, it is filled with brandy and wine, and a heaping of fresh fruits. It is one of the best sangria recipes I've had in some time.

Anne Baker's Wineberry Sage Smash is a tequila-based mix of wild winberries, sage, and some very interesting Teapot Bitters. It's a perfect use for these fun little fruit that some may consider a nuisance, but have many uses in the bar.

I have to thank everyone who participated in the contest, your recipes were very fun to explore and, honestly, there was not one that I didn't enjoy. You are a talented group and I look forward to seeing more from everyone.

Learn more about the cocktail contest and browse more results...

  • 01 of 08
    Jason Rogers' French Quarter Smash Cocktail
    Jason Rogers' French Quarter Smash is a very fun cocktail that mixes moonshine, brandy, and blueberry preserves. Photo Courtesy: © Jason Rogers

    Submitted by: Jason Rogers, Bartender in Washington DC with more drinks on Herald Mixology

    • 1.25 oz Moonshine (If you don't have access to the real thing, Virginia Lightening or Midnight Moonshine works)
    • 0.75 oz Fine Brandy (I used E&J XO)
    • 3 Lemon wedges
    • 6-8 Fresh Mint Leaves
    • 0.25 oz Homemade Almond Syrup
    • 2 Barspoons Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Preserves 

    Prep Time: 3 minutes

    Total Time: 3 minutes

    Yield: 1 Cocktail


    1. In a shaker muddle 3 lemon wedges with the almond syrup until all the...MORE juices and oils are extracted. 
    2. Add remaining ingredients and fresh ice to the shaker, top and give a good shake to fully mix the preserves. 
    3. In an Old Fashion glass and a large ice cube (regular ice works just fine) and double strain cocktail into glass. 
    4. Garnish glass with a fresh sprig of Mint and serve, Cheers. 

    Almond Syrup:

    A simple quick syrup,

    • 1 cup of raw sugar
    • 1 cup of water
    • 2 teaspoons of organic Almond extract

    In a pot bring sugar and water in to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and stir in the almond oil extract. Taste for desired potency then let cool for 20mins. 

    More from Rogers: The drink is based of the classic whiskey smash with a few twist on both flavor and spirits used. The drink was inspired by my time working in the Shenandoah Mountains where I had quite a few great berry concoctions and my recent interest in the cocktail culture of New Orleans.

  • 02 of 08

    Wineberry Sage Smash

    Anne Baker's Wineberry Sage Smash Cocktail
    Anne Baker's Wineberry Sage Smash Cocktail. Photo Courtesy: © Anne Baker

    Submitted by: Anne Baker, Mixologist at the virtual "Annie's Bar" on Instagram @biscusblue

    • Handful (about 6) Freshly Picked Wild Wineberries 
    • 3 Sprigs Garden Sage 
    • 2 oz. Dulce Vida Reposado Tequila (or other amazing Reposado Tequila) 
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Demerara Sugar  
    • Few Drops of Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Teapot Bitters 


    In the bottom of a tall glass or shaker, gently muddle wineberries with sage, sugar and Teapot Bitters. Fill glass with ice. Top with Reposado Tequila. Stir or lightly...MORE shake.  Top with soda or serve as is.  Garnish with Wineberry and Sage.  

    *Can be served in mixing glass or transferred with all contents to another glass. 

    More from Baker: I am so excited to share this cocktail recipe with you as Wineberries  are a delicious and unusual treat.  Wineberries grow along the East Coast and are a relative to the Raspberry.  Even though they are considered invasive, I absolutely love their flavor and I always try to pick them each summer before the deer do! 

  • 03 of 08

    "Red Thunder" Blackberry Sangria

    Red Wine Sangria is a popular wine cocktail
    Red Wine Sangria. Sebrina Wilson / Moment / Getty Images

    Submitted by: Eddie Mcghie of Keats Bar, NYC

    Mix all ingredients and leave refrigerated overnight ...

  • 04 of 08

    Strawberry Rum Punch

    Patrick Cicere's Strawberry Rum Punch
    Patrick Cicere's Strawberry Rum Punch. Photo Courtesy: © Patrick Cicere

    Submitted by: Patrick Cicere, Instagram @thecocktailspin

    Add the Gosling's and strawberries to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Combine the rest of the liquid ingredients and add ice. Shake vigorously, then double strain into a collins glass. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Spiceberry Spritzer

    Ethanophile's Spiceberry Spritzer Cocktail
    Ethanophile's Spiceberry Spritzer Cocktail. Photo Courtesy: © Ethanophile

    Submitted by: Ethanophile, Tumblr

    Shake together and pour over frozen berries. Enjoy!

    More from Ethanophile: It's also great as a poptail, apparently! Either poured over frozen fruit or blended with frozen fruit for a smoother texture and milder flavor! This might be my favorite serving method. (In this case, it's a Spiceberry Sangria-sicle!)

  • 06 of 08

    Triple Berry Mojito

    Audrey Page's Triple Berry Mojito Cocktail
    Audrey Page's Triple Berry Mojito Cocktail. Photo Courtesy: © Audrey Page

    Submitted by: Audrey Page, Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge in Guntersville, Alabama

    • 1oz. Strawberry infused  light rum
    • 1/4oz. Dekuyper Blueberry
    • 1/4oz. Rose's sweetened lime juice
    • 1/2oz. Simple syrup
    • 2oz. Soda or sprite
    • 5 raspberries
    • 5 blueberries 
    • 7mint leaves (reserve 2 for glass)
    • 1 slice of lime
    • 1 sprig of mint

    Infuse rum with fresh strawberries (I did this by putting sliced fresh strawberries in a jar with my rum. Put the lid on tightly and placed the jar in a dark place. Took the jar out daily...MORE and shook it. Then returned it to it's place. It took about 5 days.).  Strain the rum until it is clear of any strawberry remnants. 

    In a cocktail shaker combine rum, Dekuyper Blueberry, lime juice, and simple syrup with light ice. Tap mint leaves to release and add them to shaker. Add soda or sprite ( if you like it sweeter use sprite, less use soda). Put blueberries, raspberries,  and remaining mint leaves into a chilled hurricane glass filled half way with fresh ice. Strain cocktail into glass and garnish with slice of lime and fresh sprig of mint. Enjoy.

  • 07 of 08

    Strawberry Struggle

    Cory Mendonca's Strawberry Struggle Cocktail
    Cory Mendonca's Strawberry Struggle Cocktail. Photo Courtesy: © Cory Mendonca

    Submitted by: Cory Mendonca, Bartender at Franklin; Delano Las Vegas


    Muddle the strawberry, agave nectar, and bitters in a shaker; Add all other ingredients to shaker with some cubed ice and shake hard for about 15 seconds; Fill a beaujolais wine glass...MORE about 3/4 full of crushed ice, and double strain the mixture into the glass; Garnish with a whole strawberry and orange twist. The struggle is real!! :)

  • 08 of 08

    Blackberry Ginger Cooler

    The Irishman Blackberry Malt Cocktail
    Elizabeth's Blackberry Ginger Cooler. Jeremy Hudson / Photodisc / Getty Images

     Submitted by Elizabeth, Bartender at Jersey Shore

    • 1oz. Domaine Canton Ginger liquor
    • 1oz. Titos Vodka
    • 0.5 0z. Fresh blackberry juice
    • 0.75 oz. Vanilla simple syrup
    • 0.25 oz. Fresh lemon juice
    • Club Soda

    In shaker combine all ingredients. Add ice. Shake vigorously. Strain over ice (crushed is best) into 14 oz. Mason Jar Top with club Soda. Garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy.