It’s summertime and the living is easy. And what better way to enjoy the sultry season than with a refreshing, thirst-quenching drink? During this window of time when berries are prolific, I like to make a syrup which I add to drinks. Depending on the mood or time of day, I’ll stir a few spoonfuls of the vibrant, tangy syrup into icy glasses of Prosecco or sparkling water. If we’re feeling extra festive, I’ll muddle a jigger-full with mint, lime and rum and call it a mojito. The following recipes call for blackberries, but raspberries are a great substitute. And if you’re lucky enough to have a bunch of black currants growing in your garden, then go for it.
Makes about 1 cup.
12 ounces blackberries
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until blackberries soften and release their juices, about 10 minutes. Cool. Purée in a food processor, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Discard the seeds.
1 part blackberry syrup
2 parts sparkling water, white wine or Proscecco
Lime wedge and mint leaves for garnish
Fill a wine or cocktail glass with ice. Add syrup and sparkling water. Stir. Garnish with lime and mint.
1/2 lime, cut in 4 wedges
2 sprigs mint, plus extra leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) blackberry syrup
1.5 ounces white rum
1-2 blackberries for garnish
Muddle 2 lime wedges, mint sprigs and syrup together in a sturdy highball glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Pour rum over ice. Top with sparkling water to taste. Garnish with whole blackberries, remaining lime wedges and mint.