Firstly I hope all my readers along the East Coast of America are staying safe, far out! Does anyone else feel like if that can happen to the New York city we are all doomed?! Scary stuff. Take care everyone.
Secondly thank you all so much for your excited well-wishes about my book announcement last week! It's been so lovely to hear you are all as excited as I am about this little project. My days have been super busy over the past month, as you can imagine, but one thing I had to make time for over the weekend just gone was to take the kids mulberry picking! The trees are laden and mostly they seem to just go to waste, with people leaving them for the birds to eat. But not us, as I mentioned last year I know they do not have the same intense flavour of a blackberry nor the gorgeous sweet/sourness of a raspberry but to us they are still food, and free food at that!
A little walk around the neighbourhood reveals many a laden mulberry tree just waited to be raided. Our favourite tree towers high above the house it sits in front of, half of it's branches contained in the yard while the other half casually drapes over the 6 foot-fence surrounding the property. No one ever picks them and everywhere you look the ground is stained red from squished berries.
There's been way too much baking going on around this house lately (not something to really complain about I know!), so rather than using the mulberries to make a cake or tart, this time round I decided on a refreshing mulberry soda instead. It couldn't be any easier, cook mulberries (or whatever berries you have) with a touch of water and lemon zest until soft, add honey (or sugar) and strain to form a lovely thick syrup. To serve pour a little syrup over ice and top with soda or sparkling mineral water. Yum.
If mulberries aren't available where you live, I'm sure any other berry would be just fine in it's place. And not that I drink all that often these days, but I'm thinking a splash or three of vodka would make for a lovely adult treat! The syrup is also lovely served over thick plain yoghurt or swirled into porridge and will keep in the fridge 1 week, or frozen for longer.
Makes approx 3 cups syrup
6 cups mulberries
2 cups (500ml) filtered water
The peeled zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (125ml) honey (or 2/3 cup raw sugar), or to taste
The juice of 1 lemon
Soda or sparkling mineral water, to serve
Ice and fresh mint leaves, to serve, optional
Place berries, water and zest into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, discard lemon peel, then using a stick blender or food processor blend until smooth. Pass mixture through a fine sieve set over a clean saucepan and discard solids. Add honey and return to heat, simmer 5 minutes, remove from heat and add lemon juice. Cool and store in the fridge until needed.
To serve pour a little syrup into each glass, add ice and mint leaves and top up with soda or sparkling mineral water.
Recipe linked to: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ Simply Sugar + Gluten-free