Blackberry lemonade: A mix of silky blackberry vanilla syrup with tart homemade lemonade makes this summer drink a perfect one for the kiddos. Just add some vodka for the adults!
Ah lemonade! The sweetest drink of the summer. If you exclude iced vanilla lattes, that is.
If you’re not an iced coffee or iced latte drinker, what DO you drink in the summer? Tea? Water?
OK OK, I get that the iced lattes are a little bit of a stretch for regular drinks but if you have a Nespresso machine, I feel like you should be using it to its full potential! And that means using in the summer to make iced coffee drinks if hot coffee isn’t your thing.
Well, we’ve been loving on those gin fizzes all summer long (remember, we’re gin drinkers) and I seriously can’t get enough of that blackberry syrup!
So what I didn’t tell you back in June was that I also made some blackberry lemonade with it. And man, what a treat this lemonade is!!
I made the lemonade from scratch this time, unlike when I used bottled but still really good lemonade for the ginger mint lemonade I also made earlier this summer. It’s the base lemonade recipe I used when I made watermelon lemonade AGES ago and I knew I needed it back in my life.
The lemonade recipe is a super simple one to make too. It’s a mixture of simple syrup as a sweetener, freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices, and some water. The water dilutes the citrus juices so the lemonade isn’t so insanely tart.
To say that having freshly made lemonade in my life is a treat is an understatement! It feels like more of a luxury. But homemade lemonade is also just so easy with an old-school electric juicer and cheap to make that I feel like I should be making it way more often than I do.
Which, is currently never so there’s that.
And since I grew up on powdered iced tea and lemonade mixes, homemade lemonade definitely is a luxury in my mind.
Anyway, I’m babbling again. The blackberry syrup blends in beautifully with this lemonade once you mix it up. However, it’s just so much prettier nestled there on the bottom of the glass with the lemonade floating on top, isn’t it?
The syrup and lemonade flavors just mesh so well together. It’s like blackberries were always meant to be paired with citrus flavors, isn’t it?
These blackberry lime crumb bars are a prime example of this! Two tart flavors mellowed out by some sugar. A delicious summer drink for sure!
So if you’re one to hold onto summer for a bit longer – I mean, really, it’s only mid-August and blackberries are only JUST in season now – then this is THE drink for you!
OH!! And go ahead and add a little vodka to this drink if you’d like a spiked lemonade. It’s freaking DELICIOUS and I know you’ll love it!
For the blackberry syrup:
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups water
- 9 oz blackberries, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the lemonade:
- 4 cups water, divided
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 12 lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 8 limes)
To garnish (optional):
- Fresh mint
- Extra blackberries
- Lemon slices
- To make the blackberry syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar as the water heats. Boil for 5 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and blackberries to pot. Let steep for 30 minutes, smashing them up a little with a fork after they have started to soften. With a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, strain out the blackberries.
- Return liquid to pot (discard the blackberries) and return the heat to medium-high. Boil for about 15 minutes, until the syrup has reduced by half.
- Let the syrup cool for a few minutes and then transfer it to a 16 oz (or larger) glass bottle or jar. Refrigerate until ready to use. The syrup will thicken a little more as it cools and it will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- To make the lemonade: In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and 2 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar as the water heats. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool to room temperature, and pour the simple syrup into a jar. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be done up to 1 month in advance.
- Stir the lemon juice, lime juice, the remaining 2 cups of water, and the simple syrup together in a pitcher.
- To assemble: Fill your glasses with ice. Pour 3 tablespoons of blackberry syrup over the ice and then fill the glass with lemonade. Serve with a sprig of fresh mint, some extra blackberries, and lemon wedges, if desired.
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