Blackberry Syrup and Blackberry Sparkling Drinks

by ....RaeDi

About a week ago T came home from fishing so he could pick the last of the blackberries of this season.   Said when I told him I wanted to make some blackberry syrup he could not get it off of his mind.   He picked enough to fill our 6 quart stock pot almost full and then some.   Each berry was so swollen with sweet juices they were perfect for blackberry syrup.  He said that he had to put his picking bucket under where he was picking because they were just dropping off the vine.

This, I think I have said has been a good year for the blackberry chop here, one of the best we have had years.  I have gallons of berries frozen; and I made the blackberry vinegar and the tarts.  Now I have enough blackberries to make a couple of bottles of blackberry syrup.  I can think of so many uses for this syrup… ice cream, smoothies, pancakes, yogurt, fry bread,  (something I have not had in at least 20 years) biscuits, scones and the list could go on.

I could not believe the fragrance it gave off as I simmered the berries.  Even with the tail-ends of this summer cold I could smell the blackberry goodness throughout the house.  Almost as pleasant as baking bread!

This is a very simple thing to do, it takes a little time but very little work is involved.  I washed them gently, they were ready to burst and I did not want to lose a drop of that juice.

 Blackberry Syrup

     Ingredients:

  • 6 quarts of blackberries
  • 2 cups of water
  • About 1 ½ cups of white sugar

I added two cups of water to the pot of blackberries. Brought it to a boil and turned down and simmered.  Occasionally I took the backside of a spoon and crushed the berries on the side of the pan until I had them all broke down.  I simmered the mix for about an hour; I wanted it to reduce some (about 20%) to concentrate the flavors.

I put the berries through a strainer and then put through a strainer lined with a triple layer of cheese cloth.  I wanted the juice to be as clear as I could get it!  Once I had it strained I put the pure juice back in the pot, turned the heat to medium high and added about 1 ½ cups of sugar (they were very sweet berries) and stirred until the sugar dissolved.  I turned the burner up a little and brought the juice to a good boil and then turned down to simmer.  I kept it on simmer until it had reduced by about 20%.  I love the concentrated flavors of fruit syrups.  It thickened up and coated a spoon with the syrup.  Not like a pudding or jam, but it will lightly coat a spoon.

We had sun today and it actually got warm, so the first thing I decided to make with the blackberry syrup was each of us a Blackberry Sparkle Drink.  It tasted so good and was so refreshing.   I know that T enjoyed his and remarked that he was glad he picked the last of the blackberries it was worth it.  I know that I enjoyed mine, he was right ‘it hit the spot!’  ….

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