Did you know that it’s actually incredibly simple to make a real fruit syrup? Like, mind-blowingly simple. And all it really takes is fruit, sugar, and water. And a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. And perhaps some sparkly water, or shaved ice, and your liquor of choice. If you don’t believe me, scroll on.
First, you gather some fruit. Today I found an overgrown raspberry patch just a few blocks away from my house, so I seized the opportunity for a solo neighborhood cleanup excursion (there was also a blueberry patch in a neighbors yard, it looked poisonous so I volunteered myself for the dangerous role of guinea pig).
Next, you rinse the fruit and throw it in a saucepan with somewhere between half to three-quarters the amount of sugar as fruit. This is dependent on the sweetness of the fruit and the desired sweetness of the batch. Also add equal parts water (to fruit) to the saucepan (for instance, if I had a cup of fruit I would add a cup of water, and then half a cup to 3/4 of a cup of sugar). Stir to dissolve the sugar and then bring to a boil on medium heat.
Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to stir until the fruit integrates into the sugar/water mixture creating a compote like consistency. Cook for about 15 minutes in total, then turn off heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Pour the mixture into the strainer (or cheesecloth) that is resting atop a larger bowl. Press down on the pulp, allowing the juices to drip into the bowl.
And that, my friends, is how you make a real fruit syrup!
Now, if you’re like me and have a super rad mom who buys you cool gadgets like a SodaStream carbonated water maker, then you can really take these syrups up a notch. While straining, get your carbonation on.
Combine a couple tablespoons of the fruit syrup in a glass of carbonated water, with a bit of liquor for good measure and a few cubes of ice…and you’ve got yourself the absolute perfect summer beverage.
Of course, you could also add more ingredients to the mix if you want to be a fancy-pants. Like vanilla, lemon and lime juice/zest, ginger, cinnamon, lavender, or fresh herbs among others. In that case you’d want to add those ingredients to the mixture before straining and allow the flavors to combine with those of the fruit while atop the stove.