I’m lucky to live where sweet, wild berries are abundant in the summer. Each year I head out to my favorite (secret) blackberry bramble and pick bucketfuls of berries that cost a small fortune to buy at the Farmer’s Market. Near the brambles are also huckleberries and Oregon grape, both of which are on the tart side and complement the blackberries well. I boil all three of these types of berries together to make this beautifully-hued syrup that packs a lot of flavor into simple soda.
You may not have the same edible berries where you live, but you can adapt this recipe for any combination that tastes good to you. You are looking for a potent syrup with a balance of sweet and tart.
- 4 cups edible wild berries (blackberry, huckleberry, and Oregon grape used here)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Glass oil bottle with spout
- Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large pot, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce for 30-45 minutes. Stir every once and a while and break up the berries to remove the most juice.
- While syrup is still warm, pour through a fine mesh sieve and press with the back of a ladle to press out all of the juice.
- Discard the pulp and pour syrup into bottles.
- To make Wildberry Soda: pack glasses with ice, then pour in syrup to fill ⅓ of the glass. Top the remaining ⅔ with soda and stir.
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