A Splash of Summer
Blackberry syrup is an easy way to add a splash of ripe summer flavor to drinks (tea or lemonade, etc). You can also use the syrup on pancakes, ice cream, yogurt, cheesecake - just about anything! Herb syrups are wonderful flavor essences that can be added in place of the liquid in cakes, pie filling, and sorbets. They are good on all kinds of fruits, in fruit salads and used in drinks and punches.
Blackberries rank higher than blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries on the antioxidant scale. In fact, their concentrated antioxidant content is exceeded only by dark chocolate and culinary herbs and spices.
8 cups blackberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Mash berries and blend in water. Bring to boil over medium heat, then simmer gently for 5 minutes; strain through jelly bag.
Measure 4 cups, then to it add the warmed honey and lemon. Refrigerate in sterile bottles.
Did you know?
A syrup made from the root of the blackberry contains much tannin and is used to treat diarrhea and upset stomach (good for treating children). An infusion of the leaves is good for treating a sore throat, as are the dried, powdered berries. The root is the more astringent.
Basic Herbal Syrup
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups sugar
8 to 10 sprigs of anise, cinnamon, green or lemon basil
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan, bruising the leaves against the side of the pan with a spoon. Place over moderate heat and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Remove the leaves and squeeze them into the syrup to extract their flavor.
This syrup can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for about 2 months and frozen for 3 to 4 months.
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