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Blackberry whiskey lemonade in a mason jar filled with ice, topped with a striped paper straw and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 4-6 cocktails 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


A delicious blackberry whiskey lemonade cocktail perfect for summer entertaining.




  • 12 ounces fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 8 ounces (1 cup) whiskey
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) lemon juice
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) blackberry simple syrup (recipe above)
  • 1 large rosemary sprig, plus extra for garnish
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) tonic water



  1. Put the blackberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until blackberries have softened and syrup has slightly thickened (it should be thicker than water, but a little bit thinner than maple syrup).
  3. Strain syrup through a mesh sieve to separate any seeds or lumps from the syrup. You can discard or compost the leftover berry pulp, but we like to freeze it in ice cube trays and pop a cube or two into smoothies.
  4. Let syrup cool on the counter for 20 minutes before you make the drinks, or let it cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.


  1. Combine whiskey, lemon juice, blackberry syrup, and a sprig of fresh rosemary in a large cocktail shaker. Add a handful or two of ice cubes. Depending on the size of your shaker, you may have to shake the drinks in two batches.
  2. Shake for 15-30 seconds to chill drinks and ensure all ingredients are combined.
  3. Strain drinks into cocktail glasses filled with fresh ice. Top each drink with a splash of tonic water, garnish with a sprig of rosemary (optional), and serve immediately.


Additions and substitutions. Use honey in place of sugar for the blackberry syrup if you like. Use raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries in place of the blackberries if you prefer. Use vodka or gin instead of whiskey. Use frozen blackberries instead of fresh if you like (you will need to extend the syrup cook time by a few minutes). Omit the rosemary or use basil in its place. For a stronger rosemary flavor, add a sprig of rosemary to the blackberry syrup while it cooks. Use club soda, soda water, or prosecco in place of the tonic water if you like, or omit it completely.

What kind of whiskey should I use? We like using Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon for our whiskey cocktails. For a more booze-forward drink, you can use Rittenhouse Rye. Irish whiskey is also good here. Use whatever liquor you typically like to drink! If you're not a whiskey person, you can use vodka or gin instead of whiskey.

Make-ahead tips. Make the blackberry syrup a day or two in advance if you like. Strain out the berry pulp, let syrup cool completely, and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to use. If you're using fresh lemon juice, juice the lemons in the morning on the day you plan to make cocktails (any earlier and the flavor can start to change) and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to use. 

To make this blackberry cocktail for a crowd, follow a 3:4:4 ratio (3 parts blackberry syrup to 4 parts each whiskey and lemon juice) and scale up as needed. For detailed instructions and a make-ahead timeline, be sure to read the post above.

If you don't have a cocktail shaker, use a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid instead.

Store extra blackberry syrup in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to six months.

This recipe was updated in 2020 with additional notes and photos.

Please drink responsibly.