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Here’s a clever idea from Amber Rose in her lovely The Wholefood Pantry. Make a syrup of honey, blackberries and blueberries. Then use the syrup as the base for very refreshing beverages both alcoholic and non. Try the syrup with sparkling water in a 1:2 or 1:1 ratio. For something with a punch, syrup and vodka, again at 1:2 or 1:1.

It’s not a syrup to splash over your pancakes. And I’ve found the flavor to be very mild. I followed the recipe below to the exact amounts. Next time, I’m using less water and making sure that my honey is very bland. The berry flavor can be subtle and overwhelmed by, say, a very orangey honey.

It’s January. I know. Berries are not in season. Except, thanks to cargo jets, you can find berries almost year-round now. The summer berries, filled with sunshine sugar and energy, are the best, but you can experiment. It’s not too summery today with a chill factor of 10 below zero. So, my next batch will be with frozen berries already stored away for a winter’s night.

Blueberry and Blackberry Syrup

Yield: 3 ½ cup


  • 1 ¼ cups raw honey
  • 6 ounces blackberries
  • 6 ounces blueberries
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Handful of elderberries (optional, if in season)


Put 3 ½ cups water in a small saucepan with the honey. Bring to a boil, and stir until the honey is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, and pour into a glass pitcher and reserve.

Next, place the berries and lemon juice into the saucepan, and pour over just enough of the syrup to cover the berries. Cover the pan with a lid, and simmer very gently until the berries are tender, but not totally disintegrated; this takes about 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then put the berries through a strainer, with a bowl underneath to catch the liquid. Discard the pulp or keep it to add to yogurt.

Mix the berry syrup with the reserved honey syrup, stir, then transfer the batch of syrup into a clean glass bottle with a swing top.

Source: The Wholefood Pantry by Amber Rose [Kyle, 2017]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/3.5 for 1/30th second at ISO‑800