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Jul 23, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Blackberries’

Just Five: Midsummer Midnight Cocktail

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

082113_justfive

 

I enjoy a strong drink. No Cosmos or lemon drops for me, nothing too sweet and sugary. Yet for reasons I don’t understand (My gentle demeanor? My predilection for pink?) I am frequently served drinks that taste more like black-cherry Kool-Aid than straight whiskey with a hint of black pepper.

When summer fruit and fresh herbs are so readily available, I have a strong desire to make a boozy smoothie. This cocktail is sweetened with agave nectar, whose depth matches better with the caramel-vanilla flavors in the bourbon. Blackberries are sweet, yet tart. I considered making this with nectarines or peaches, but that would be too sweet for my taste. The mint gives it a nice bite and works well with the bourbon (think of a mint julep). For effervescence, I tried ginger ale and ginger beer, but I found it was too busy mixed with the mint. Club soda gives this drink a bit of sparkle without added sugar. And the color? Well, that’s how this drink got its name.

Midsummer Midnight Cocktail
2 Servings

8 blackberries
12 mint leaves
2 tsp. agave nectar (Maple syrup can also be used.)
2 oz. bourbon
8 oz. club soda

• In a shaker, combine 6 blackberries, 10 mint leaves and the agave nectar. Muddle until well-combined.
• Add the bourbon and plenty of ice and shake hard for 30 seconds.
• Strain into 2 martini glasses and top each with 4 ounces of club soda. Slap the remaining 2 mint leaves between your palms and garnish each drink with a leaf and a blackberry.

 

 

Stocking Up on blackberries

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

072011_blackberryBlackberries don’t always get the love they deserve. They’re usually not quite as sweet as some of their berry brethren and they can be as seedy as Skid Row. But the berries we found at the Maplewood Farmers’ Market last week were a delight, with just enough astringency to provide a welcome bite.

Blackberries have a particular affinity for peaches. Lucky for us, peaches are in season right now as well. Last week’s peach ice cream found new life when we carefully mixed in some of the berries from Centennial Farms. We’re contemplating cooking them down a little and swirling them through a pound cake batter or puréeing them to use in these fruit-filled homemade marshmallows. A friend took some of the berries and baked them into a rich custardy French tart known as clafouti. It’s traditionally made with cherries, but blackberries work just as well.

Blackberries, which could also easily go into cakes, muffins or salads, are easily affected by moisture and can get moldy fairly quickly. Counteract this by storing them in the crisper drawer and only washing them right before use. Drop a few in a glass of Prosecco for a refreshing summer quaff. But given the high temperatures this week, with no relief in sight, the best way to enjoy blackberries might be to position a cool bowlful next to you on the couch and eat them straight up, no chaser. Then you’ll feel the blackberry love.

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