New Years Eve Blackberry Thyme Sparkler
(Makes 4 Cocktails)
1 c. blackberries + 8 more for garnish
1 c. Water
1 c. sugar
1 bottle of champagne
4 ounces or 1/2 c. gin
4 long sprigs of thyme
1 c. ice
gold baking sugar for the rim
In a small saucepan, bring blackberries, water, and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the blackberries are soft and the simple syrup has turned to a bright pink/redish color. Remove from heat, drain blackberries, and allow to cool. This step can be done well in advance as the syrup will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.
Prepare your champagne glasses. Okay, so here is a dirty little secret of getting those beautiful salts and sugars to stay atop the rim: butter. It adheres perfectly and you honestly never taste it. Place the tiniest amount between your fingers and rub just around the rim of the glass before dipping the glass into the gold baking sugar.
Next, begin by adding 1 ounce of gin to each champagne glass. Next drop two blackberries in each glass, followed by 2 ounces of homemade blackberry simple syrup. Fill the rest of the glass with champagne and top with a sprig of thyme in each glass. Voila!