When it's summertime and the living is easy, I can't think of a better way to enjoy the heat than with a refreshing, thirst-quenching beverage. Fruit syrups are a great addition to drinks, adding sweetness, fruity flavor, and vibrant color, and when there are more berries in the garden than you can shake a stick at, I gather a bunch and cook them with sugar, water, or citrus to make a versatile syrup to mix into drinks or drizzle over fruit.
Depending on the mood or time of day, I'll stir a few spoons of fruit syrup into icy glasses of Prosecco or sparkling water. If I'm feeling extra festive, I'll muddle a jigger-full with mint, lime, and rum and call it a Mojito. If you have extra syrup, freeze it in ice cube trays to pop into drinks or thaw later in the year for nostalgic sip of summer.
Feel free to substitute other berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, or boysenberries for the blackberries.
Makes about 1 cup
12 ounces blackberries
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the blackberries soften and release their juices, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and process to blend. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve, pushing down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the seeds. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Makes 1 serving
Ice cubes (optional)
1 part blackberry syrup
2 parts chilled sparkling water, white wine, or Prosecco
Lime wedge and mint leaves for garnish
Fill a wine or cocktail glass with ice, if using. Add the syrup and sparkling water and stir to blend. Garnish with lime and mint.
Makes 1 serving
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
2 sprigs mint, plus extra leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) blackberry syrup
1.5 ounces white rum
1 to 2 blackberries for garnish
Muddle 2 lime wedges, the mint sprigs, and syrup together in a sturdy highball glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Pour the rum over the ice and top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with whole blackberries, remaining lime wedges, and mint.
CAPTIONS AND CREDITS
Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood.