This past weekend we hosted dinner with friends. It was a gorgeous spring evening, we had all of the windows open, and we’d planned a very light and fresh meal of avocado pasta with a green salad. Our guests don’t drink, but I knew I wanted something fun, flavorful, and complementary to the weather as much as the meal.
While at the grocery store, I noticed that lemons were on sale and a fresh batch of blackberries had just come in. Inspiration! I couldn’t wait to get home to find a recipe for blackberry lemonade.
I Googled around until I found something simple that matched the ingredients I had on hand. I fell for this recipe at Love and Olive Oil. I liked that it called for raw or cane sugar; while I didn’t have any in the house, I’d have definitely preferred to use that. After that, it was just water, blackberries, lemon, and ice.
I doubled the recipe and made a few other adjustments, including using lemon zest, basil, lime, and a simple syrup made on the stove top. I got busy muddling berries, squeezing lemons, and melting sugar.
1.5 cups raw or cane sugar
6 cups water
6 ounces fresh blackberries, muddled
6 lemons, juiced
1 lime, juiced
My husband came in during the preparation and remarked on how great the kitchen smelled. I had to leave and walk back in so I could appreciate the blast of lemon that was filling the room. After a solid week of rain for the start of spring, the sunshine and scent were welcome.
1. In a saucepan, combine sugar and 2 cups of water, then heat on high for two minutes until all granules have melted. Set aside to cool.
2. Rinse the berries then place in a pitcher or bowl and muddle until you’ve extracted as much juice as possible. (I then ran mine through the blender to ensure I juiced all the chunks.)
3. Add to this the lemon and lime juice and pulse a couple of times to combine.
4. Pour the juice in to a large pitcher through a mesh strainer to catch any seeds and excess pulp.
5. Then, add the simple syrup and additional 4 cups of water. Stir well.
I froze old fashioned glasses and rimmed them with sugar and lemon zest. After all, these were fancy non-alcoholic cocktails!
In the glass I placed cubes of ice and poured blackberry lemonade that was as remarkable in hue as it was in taste.
Before handing off to my guests I placed a couple leaves of fresh basil to make the flavor really pop, and it did!
Once we had a generous taste-test before our dinner guests arrived, and we’d all shared the pitcher, it really goes without saying that there wasn’t a drop left. In fact, the next afternoon, I had to make a run to the store to acquire the ingredients to make a triple batch, fill a few glass bottles and deliver to the neighbors.