People who live in San Diego are probably the last ones who should complain about the weather.
But we do.
We complain when it’s “cold” (read: 65 degrees) and overcast when the rest of the country is sizzling in record heat.
We complain in late fall and early winter when it’s still 80 degrees and sunny and the rest of the country is freezing.
And now, you’ll hear some of us (or maybe just me?) complain that it’s February and gorgeous, but way too warm for what is supposed to be winter (we’re talking low- to mid-80s).
Feel free to throw some expletives my way if you’ve been shoveling snow or braving freezing temperatures the past few weeks.
Since I always try to look on the bright side, one of the pros of feeling the summer heat in February is coming up with fruity and refreshing drinks to cool off with. This drink does exactly that and I’ve been drinking it like CAH-RAZY. Well, drinking may not be the right word. I think, guzzling is more like it.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to call this drink when I started typing out the recipe, so I decided to ride with “blackberry sparkler.” It’s got the perfect amount of tartness from the limes to balance any sweetness from the simple syrup and the sparkling water makes it oh-so refreshing on those warm summer (or San Diego February) days.
And the homemade simple syrup for this drink can be used for much more than this! If you know me well, you know I fancy a glass of bubbly (the alcoholic kind) in the evening after the little one is down for the night, and I’ve been slipping a dash of the syrup in my glass – LOVE! I also put a bit in some plain ol’ sparkling water when I ran out of limes to make another of these “sparklers.”
If you want to make this an adult drink, replace the sparkling water with some champs or prosecco to kick it up a notch. I haven’t tried this drink with vodka in it, but I don’t see how dash would hurt.
BLACKBERRY SPARKLER WITH HOMEMADE BLACKBERRY SIMPLE SYRUP
Makes 1 sparkler (enough to fill a one pint mason jar with ice), but is easily multiplied or halved
FOR THE SIMPLE SYRUP
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
6 ounces whole blackberries
FOR THE DRINK
1/2 lime, sliced into two pieces
4 whole blackberries
2 ounces blackberry simple syrup (see recipe below)
2 ounces white grape juice
6 ounces sparkling water
FOR THE SYRUP
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan on medium-high heat and gently stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the blackberries and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer until tender, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. While the mix is simmering, adjust the heat as necessary to make sure it isn’t boiling too rapidly.
- Once the berries are tender, turn off the heat and let the mix cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, strain the syrup into a storage container (I use glass mason jars), gently pressing on the berries to get out all their flavor. Store syrup in the fridge.
FOR THE DRINK
- In a glass, muddle the lime and blackberries to get out as much lime juice as possible.
- Add the simple syrup, white grape juice and sparking water and stir well to combine.
- Top with ice and enjoy!