It is particularly galling that some of the best of Spring days are spent looking out the window. My kids get home from school at four and even with no sports, there is still work to be done, which is more difficult with every beautiful day. They are being pulled outside. So even when their bodies are in school, their brains are already in Summer.
Combine this with the fact that cocktails are all the rage at the moment and I can’t open a cooking magazine without being presented with a dozen or so fruit soaked, minty, gingered, or frosty cocktails. They look so good. I like a sweet drink. I can still be caught ordering a Shirley Temple at a nice restaurant. Yes, I’m serious. I love lemonade and limeade. My drink at Sonic is diet Sprite with Cherry syrup. And Lily had a fruity (kid) drink at La Duni this week that was something like a sweetened mango-orangeade on crushed ice that was oh, so good. I’ve got sweet drinks on the brain. So this is not too far afield for me…except for the fact that it is actually made with real fruit. That is a plus.
So I cooked up this little treat. It is full of sugar…no apologies for that. It is what it is. But it is also full of berries. The drill is this: make simple syrup, make cooked berry puree, mix them together and serve over ice with club soda, sprite or even water. This is purely rated G around here, but the berry syrup is just begging to be a frosty martini ingredient.
Use, roughly, equal parts syrup and club soda over ice. We made approximately 6 drinks with this amount of syrup, but a lot depends on how sweet you like your drink. Count on ⅓ cup syrup per drink.
Recipe: (yield: 2 cups syrup or 6 drinks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1¼ cup water, divided use
2 cups frozen mixed berries (typically strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
Mixer: Club soda, tap water, Sprite or 7-up
1. Place 1 cup water and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer while stirring to dissolve the sugar particles. When it reaches a simmer, allow it to continue simmering for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2. Place the frozen berries and the water in another small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Allow the berries to thaw and simmer in the pan until they are a deep red and simmering all over, which takes approximately 7 minutes. Remove the berries from the heat and allow them to cool slightly. Use an immersion blender to puree the berries in the pan. Pour the berry puree into a sieve which has been placed over a measuring glass. Use a spoon to work the puree through the sieve, so that only pulp and seeds are left behind. This should create approximately 1 cup of berry juice.
3. Pour the simple syrup into the measuring glass with the berry juice and stir to combine. This will make approximately 2 cups of berry syrup. Cool completely.
4. To make a Spring Berry Fizzy, combine equal portions of the berry syrup and club soda over ice. Stir to combine and drink immediately.
This was just the thing to perk up my kids who were stuck at the kitchen table doing “the worst ever” subtraction problems “with stupid borrowing.” Perfect.
Finally, Don’t forget to visit the PIE Etsy shop! And if you need some other drink ideas, consider these: