The weekend is finally on its way, and Thirsty Thursday is here! Ready to take a well-deserved break? Let’s celebrate with a drink.
I’ve been pretty obsessed with this bubbly lemonade that I’ve been making lately. I made this Meyer lemon syrup from Food in Jars a while back, and I’ve polished off the majority of my stash by pairing it with some Perrier over a glass of ice, with a straw for sipping.
When it’s hot out, this is the perfect way to cool down and refresh.
But sometimes, I want something a bit more… mature than just lemonade. Enter: the blackberry lemon cocktail.
For the base of this drink, I made a super easy simple syrup with fresh citrus fruit, and paired it with a blackberry puree that comes together in just seconds.
I’m a lover of berries in all of their wondrous shapes and forms, but I know the tough seeds can hold some fruit connoisseurs back from really enjoying blackberries. This flavorful puree takes the best of what they have to offer in terms of vibrant color and irresistible flavor, and gets rid of the rest. What more could you ask for?
Add a shot or two of your favorite vodka, and my soft drink obsession just became a lot more adult. You’ve got to be careful with this stuff – it would be pretty easy to down 4 or 5 of them before dinner, and before you know it, you’ve become the life of the party (or a mess, whichever comes first).
In all seriousness, please drink responsibly. But these are so delicious, a whole pitcher is sure to disappear pretty quickly if you’re entertaining a crowd.
With a gorgeous, vibrant color, sweet-tart flavor, and fresh seasonal berries, you’ll be enjoying both hard and mocktail versions of this drink all spring and summer long. So what are you waiting for? Drink up!
Celebrate the arrival of warm weather with our fresh blackberry and lemon cocktails, made with a sweet-tart combo of flavored simple syrup and fruit puree.
For the Flavored Simple Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
For the Cocktails:
- 2 cups fresh blackberries, plus 1/2 cup reserved for garnish
- 2 Tbsp water (plus more as needed)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups good-quality vodka (optional, to make it a mocktail)
- 4 cups bubbly water (like Perrier)
- Ice (optional)
To Make the Simple Syrup:
- Place the sugar, water, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and pour through a fine strainer to remove solids. Let cool, then stir in the lemon juice.
To Make the Cocktails:
- Place the blackberries and 2 Tbsp water in a blender and blend on high until smooth. If needed, add more water 1 Tbsp at a time to get it moving through the blades. Pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove any remaining solids.
- Combine 1 cup of the blackberry puree, 1 cup simple syrup, the lemon juice, and vodka. Stir to mix well.
- When ready to serve, fill glasses halfway with crushed ice if desired. Combine 4 oz (1/2 cup) of the berry mixture with 4 oz bubbly water, stir, and serve with extra blackberries on top.
Extra syrup can be stored in the refrigerator in a Mason jar to make more cocktails and lemonade for 1-2 weeks.
For even more blackberry goodness, check out this scone recipe that we’ve baked up just for you. More into mouth-puckering citrus? Try these raw and vegan tangy dessert bars. Paired with these bright and juicy beverages, sounds like the perfect garden party menu to me.
What about you? Do you have any late spring and summer cocktail tips and recipes that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below! And please rate this recipe while you’re there.
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Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 6th, 2014. Last updated: April 19, 2018 at 14:29 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog “My California Roots” (now being merged into Foodal).