I stumbled upon a bunch of blackberry bushes at the cottage, and in my enthusiasm to get to them I forgot about the thorny branches.
As a kid, we would pick blackberries and raspberries, and my aunt would make us a small pie if we managed to bring back one plastic mug of fruit without eating it on the way home. For those occasions we always wore jeans and long-sleeved shirts.
The wild blackberries were sour and sweet, just as I remembered them. Inspired, I decided to use local blackberries (I bought them this time) to make a flavoured simple syrup – perfect with sparkling water, drizzled on vanilla ice cream or to create a fruity margarita
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
170 g blackberries
In a small pot, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a boil and wait for the sugar to dissolve. Add two 170 g containers of blackberries (12 oz). Bring the mixture back to a boil and then simmer for 3-5 minutes until the berries soften and release their juice. Set aside and allow to cool. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Store the syrup in a sealed container in the fridge – it should last about two weeks. Add to water, soda or cocktails. About 2 tablespoons per standard glass should do the trick.