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Blackberry simple syrup.

Tad Seaborn/The Globe and Mail

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

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

170 g blackberries

Method

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.

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