We’ve reached the point of the summer where my garden is overrun with blackberries. No, really! They grow as fast as weeds, and I can barely keep up with them. Not a bad problem to have—especially since picking berries with my daughter is absolutely delightful—but every year I run into the same problem: What do I do with 20 to 30 pints of blackberries?!
Last year, I developed a blackberry lemonade cocktail that knocked my socks off. And today, I’m excited to share it with you. Remember the hard lemonade you drank when you just started drinking? Well, this kicks it up a notch into a fun summer drink that anyone of any (legal) age can enjoy.
I love how versatile this recipe is! It’s great with vodka, but if you have children or non-drinkers you need to serve as well, the lemonade without alcohol is also divine. If you’re serving it for brunch, you can easily add a splash of the blackberry lemonade to Champagne for a seasonal take on the mimosa! – xo, Maddy
Blackberry Lemonade Cocktail
Add some kick to your favourite summer beverage.
By Maddy Hague
granulated sugar: 1 cup
room temperature water: 1 cup
lemon juice: 1 4.5 oz bottle (or just use fresh squeezed*)
cold water: 3 cups
fresh blackberries: 1½ cups
vodka: ½ cup (plus additional if you prefer it stronger)
Step 1: Create simple syrup by heating the granulated sugar and room temperature water over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture has reduced down slightly. Allow the simple syrup to cool while you continue working.
Step 2: In a large pitcher or bowl, combine the lemon juice and the cold water. (*Note: in my experience, fresh squeezed juice tends to be quite a bit less concentrated than what you'll find in those plastic lemon bottles. If you use fresh squeezed, start out with a little less cold water, then add in more as necessary to thin it out.) Add the cooled simple syrup to the mixture, then stir until well combined. Store in the fridge to chill.
Step 3: Clean all of your blackberries thoroughly. In a blender, puree the berries until completely blended. Strain the blackberry puree over a bowl to remove the seeds and other roughage from the blackberries. (I prefer to use a straining colander that I can nest into a large mixing bowl.) Measure out ½ cup of the puree, and add it to the chilled lemonade mix, stirring thoroughly to combine. Add more puree to taste as desired.
Step 4: Add in vodka, once again stirring thoroughly to combine. Serve immediately or set in the fridge to chill until needed. (Note: I do not recommend serving this over ice, as it will water down considerably. If it needs to be chilled while outside, I recommend keeping the serving container over ice or in a cooler rather than serving ice in the drinks.)