A perfectly ripe blackberry is a beautiful and delicious thing. Blackberries are reaching their peak here in the Washington, DC area, and I cannot get enough. My family grew blackberries when I was young and I just adore them. I like picking them, too. It reminds me of childhood and the vines that grew near our horse pasture. My horse, Bess, was very curious and would watch you closely as you picked the fruit, hoping it would mean something sweet for her, too.
I wasn’t really feeling in the mood for traditional baking with blackberries, so I decided to come up with some cocktails instead. A number of blackberry-themed drink recipes using creme de mure or creme de cassis, which is a blackberry liqueur. I do not have that liqueur, but I thought I might create even more delicious blackberry flavor if I used a blackberry puree instead. So, I pulled out my trusty blender and got to work.
To make the blackberry puree…In a blender, add 2 cups of blackberries, 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, and 3 Tbsp of sugar. Puree and taste. Continue to add sugar or a bit more water until desired consistency and taste. Some berries are sweeter and riper than others and need less sugar. I’ve given you a starting point, it is up to you to make it work.
I mixed up two different blackberry cocktails. One, I call a Tequila Sunset, a take on the Tequila Sunrise. The second is a modified version of the Bramble, which is gin based. Give them both a try, even if you don’t think you like gin or tequila.