Even though summer hasn’t officially kicked off just yet, it is by all means summer time here in south Alabama. The temp has been in the 80’s for the past two weeks (and it’s steadily getting hotter), so it’s nothing but flip flips, tank tops and shorts from here until the last week of September!
And with the glorious arrival of summer comes the long anticipated return of fresh fruits and veggies hand picked from the garden. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we have a wild blackberry patch on our family’s property right up the road from our home. My husband and I always try to beat the birds and take a small bucket up the hill 3 or 4 times during the month of May to pick all of the beautiful blackberries off of the vines. Aren’t they just gorgeous?!
Aside from munching on the berries as a snack, I’ve been experimenting with different things to do with them while they’re in season. I recently made a Blackberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole (which I swear was sent straight from Heaven,) but this time I decided to try my hand at making something really sweet!
I opened up my refrigerator and saw one lowly lemon sitting there on the shelf. That’s when it hit me: Homemade Blackberry Lemonade! Ohhhh, yeah! Luckily I had a bottle of lemon juice in the door of the fridge to help me out. Squeezing real lemons would’ve been even better, but I think it turned out amazing just the way I made it! It’s a perfect blend of sweet, sour/tart, and darn delicious. Here’s how I made it:
- 1½ cups lemon juice + 2tbs
- 1½ cups sugar (I used half sugar, half stevia)
- 1 cup blackberries
- 2 cups water + 5 cups water
- In a medium sauce pan, combine 2 cups water and sugar and bring to a boil - stirring occasionally.
- Remove from stove and allow to cool down.
- Using a blender or food processor, puree 1 cup blackberries + 2 tbs lemon juice.
- In a large pitcher, combine water/sugar mixture and lemon juice.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, pour blackberry puree into strainer and stir contents into pitcher.
- Add additional 5 cups water and stir.
- Serve with ice and fresh lemons and berries if desired.
While the water was on the stove boiling, I tossed a cup of fresh blackberries and a little lemon juice into my blender. After several spins in the blender, the berries turned into a really thick pulp (as pictured below.)
Using a fine mesh strainer, I poured the blackberry pulp over the lemon juice. I had to use a spoon to mash the pulp to help it go through the strainer. The strainer of course prevents any of the seeds getting through into your lemonade. You can always add a few if you like having a little “texture” in your beverages. 🙂
Once the lemonade was all put together, I added a few fresh berries and lemon slices into the pitcher and let it sit and cool in the fridge for a while. This drink really takes lemonade to a whole new level, and I am totally loving it! I’ll be sure to freeze a few batches of blackberries so that I can make this drink all throughout the year and not just during the summer!
What makes a perfect summer drink to you? Have you ever made lemonade using other fresh fruits? I’d love to hear your ideas!