This recipe for dewberry lemonade is a perfectly sweet, slightly tart and refreshing way to cool down on a hot summer afternoon. Toss in a few fresh lemon slices and a sprig of mint and you’re in for a real treat!
Here in south Alabama, every April and into the month of May the dewberry vines are loaded with luscious dewberries that are just begging to be baked into a homemade pie or eaten straight off the vine. My two daughters have grown quite fond of riding our golf cart along our driveway and the outskirts of our family’s farmland to track down the wild dewberry vines and fill up their buckets to the brim with fresh berries.
Often confused with blackberries, dewberries are only slightly different from the more commonly known blackberry. Dewberries grow on a vine that runs along the ground and are typically smaller and seedier than blackberries. While both blackberry vines and dewberry vines have a plethora of thorns, the dewberry vine thorns are much more concentrated, while the thorns on blackberry vines are more spread apart. Blackberry vines also grow upward instead of along the ground and ripen after dewberries. If you’re in the southern region of the US, you can expect dewberries to ripen in April and May while blackberries begin to ripen mid to late may and into the month of June.
When baking or creating dishes with dewberries, you don’t have to treat them any differently from a blackberry. The flavor of a dewberry is a smidgy-bit more tart, but not much. I cook dewberries in cobblers, muffins, jellies and more! Any recipe you find that calls for blackberries, you can certainly substitute the blackberry with dewberries. Our absolute favorite way to enjoy fresh dewberries is to squeeze the juice into a freshly made batch of lemonade. The berries add the perfect amount of tartness to the drink, and enjoying a tall glass of this Dewberry Lemonade on a hot summer day is our favorite way to cool down!
- 1½ cups lemon juice + 2 Tbs reserved
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 cup dewberries (blackberries also work great!)
- 2 cups water for boiling + 5 cups water additional
- 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 dewberries+ 2 tbs lemon juice.
- In a large pitcher, combine water/sugar mixture and lemon juice.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, pour dewberry puree into strainer and stir contents into pitcher.
- Add additional 5 cups water and stir.
- Serve with ice, fresh lemons, dewberries and a sprig of mint if desired. Enjoy!
Before you get started making this recipe, you’ll want to make sure you have a fine mesh strainer to strain all of the tiny dewberry seeds. Once your lemonade is made, you’ll toss a cup of dewberries into a blender or food processor with 2 Tbs of lemon juice to create a nice thick pulp. You’ll pour the pulp into the strainer over top of the lemonade and stir the pulp thoroughly until all of the juice is gone and just the seeds are left. Discard the seeds and stir the lemonade well before pouring over ice. Enjoy!
Are you familiar with wild dewberries? Do you have any recipes that you love utilizing fresh dewberries, or is there a recipe you’d love to see here on Southern Made Simple? Leave a comment below and share the love!
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