Mastering the simple syrup opens a world of sweet possibilities. We’ve used luscious blackberries to balance the bold flavour of gin to create a refreshing summer sipper. Or, if you prefer, you can make this as a delicious non-alcoholic “mocktail.”
30 minute chilling time
For the blackberry simple syrup:
- ½ cup (108 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed ½ cup (108 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed
- ½ cup (104 g) fresh blackberries, washed ½ cup (104 g) fresh blackberries, washed
- 5 pcs (10 g) lemon zest, wide strips 5 pcs (10 g) lemon zest, wide strips
- 6 tbsp (90 ml) water 6 tbsp (90 ml) water
For the cocktail:
- 8 tbsp (120 ml) blackberry simple syrup (recipe above) 8 tbsp (120 ml) blackberry simple syrup (recipe above)
- 12 pcs fresh blackberries, washed 12 pcs fresh blackberries, washed
- 12 pcs mint leaves, washed 12 pcs mint leaves, washed
- ½ cup (125 ml) lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed ½ cup (125 ml) lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
- ½ cup (125 ml) gin ½ cup (125 ml) gin
- ½ cup (125 ml) sparkling water (club soda or tonic water) ½ cup (125 ml) sparkling water (club soda or tonic water)
- Blackberries Blackberries
- Fresh mint leaves Fresh mint leaves
- Lemon slices, wheels, zest Lemon slices, wheels, zest
For the blackberry simple syrup (makes approximately ½ cup / 125 ml):
In a small pot, over medium heat, combine the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, blackberries, strips of lemon zest, and water. Crush the berries with the back of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar; 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature; 15 minutes. Place into the refrigerator to chill completely; 15 minutes or until needed.
Strain cooled simple syrup through a sieve, gently pressing the berries to release as much of the liquid as possible. Discard solids or save to top ice cream, oatmeal, or stir into yogurt.
For the cocktail:
Drop 3 blackberries into each of 4 lowball glasses. Add 3 mint leaves to each glass. Divide the fresh lemon juice amongst the 4 glasses, about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per glass.
With a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon, gently muddle the blackberries, mint, and lemon juice together until mint leaves are lightly bruised and blackberries have released some of their juices.
Drizzle in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the blackberry simple syrup. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add gin into each glass (2 tbsp / 30 ml). Top off with sparkling water. Garnish with blackberries, mint leaves, and/or lemon. Stir before sipping.
*Make the simple syrup a few hours or even a few days ahead for faster preparation.
*Can’t find blackberries at your grocery store or farmer’s market? Replace with raspberries or blueberries.
*Frozen blackberries can be used in place of the fresh berries to make this cocktail.
*This cocktail can be made without the sparkling water.
*For a different take on the drink use fresh basil or thyme instead of the mint.
*Blackberry simple syrup can be kept in a glass jar for up to 2 weeks.
*The simple syrup can be used to flavour teas, lemonades, sparkling water, or spooned over ice cream for a simple dessert.
*For an alcohol-free alternative, omit gin and top glasses off with sparkling water, club soda, ginger ale, or ginger beer.