Add a burst of fresh fruit flavor to your drinks and baked goods with this delightful blackberry simple syrup recipe! Made with only three simple ingredients, this homemade blackberry syrup is incredibly easy to whip up and can be used in a multitude of ways. You fellow blackberry lovers need to keep a jar of this versatile syrup ready to go — after one taste, you’ll want to add it to everything.
What Is Simple Syrup?
If you’ve ever made homemade cocktails, you’re probably already familiar with simple syrup, but it’s a liquid sweetener made from boiling water and sugar. Cold drinks can have a gritty texture if the sugar isn’t fully muddled or stirred, which is trickier than you might think. However, simple syrup dissolves perfectly, sweetening the drink and mixing smoothly after a quick boil.
Typically, simple syrup is made from a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. You might also come across a rich syrup, which is a 2:1 ratio of sugar and water that results in a sweeter and thicker syrup. For the sake of simplicity, let’s keep to the classic 1:1 ratio.
Along with water and sugar, we can create so many different infusions to add a fun touch to classic cocktails. These are a few of my favorites.
- Rosemary simple syrup
- Raspberry simple syrup
- Ginger simple syrup
- Cherry simple syrup
- Spiced cranberry simple syrup
- Gingerbread simple syrup
- Brown sugar-chai simple syrup
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Bursting with blackberry flavor: Think blackberries in liquid form. Just a smidge adds loads of fresh blackberry flavor to your favorite cocktails and other drinks.
Much better than store-bought syrup: You won’t find any fake extracts or funky chemicals here. We use real ingredients to give you a superior simple syrup.
No advanced skills required: Can you boil water? Great! You have the skills to make your own simple syrup. It’s truly as easy as it gets.
Prepare ahead of serving time: For easy entertaining, you can make this simple blackberry syrup well in advance. I’d even say it’s recommended to give the syrup a chance to chill for ultra refreshing drinks.
Blackberries: Fresh or frozen blackberries work just fine. I typically use fresh blackberries, but frozen berries are still great quality. Fruit is frozen when it hits peak ripeness, so you don’t have to worry about sacrificing flavor.
White sugar: Simple syrup typically calls for white sugar, which has more of a neutral flavor to allow the blackberries to take center stage. Of course, you can substitute other sweeteners, such as honey. I use honey to make a strawberry-rhubarb simple syrup for mimosas, and it’s quite the delight.
Step 1: We begin by adding those juicy blackberries, white sugar and water to a small saucepan on the stove-top and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat (photo 1). While the blackberry mixture heats, we stir it occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Step 2: When our syrup boils and the sugar dissolves, we turn off the heat, mash the blackberries and allow the mixture to steep for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour (photo 2). A potato masher works well to crush the berries and infuse more fresh fruit flavor.
Step 3: Now we place a bowl or measuring cup in the sink with a fine-mesh sieve on top and strain the syrup to separate the seeds and pulp from the syrup (photo 3).
While straining, I like to use a spoon to press down on the berries to extract as much flavor as possible. Some people say not to do this because it can make the mixture cloudy, but I’ve never had that problem. You can even see my strawberry-basil Tom Collins for photographic proof that you can still make a perfectly clear drink while extracting more flavor.
And that’s it. Now we let that juicy syrup cool, and we can start mixing some blackberry drinks. Lucky us.
Fun Ways to Use Simple Syrup
You most commonly use simple syrup to sweeten cocktails and other drinks. Typically, I add ½ to 1 ounce simple syrup per drink.
Of course, this syrup isn’t solely for your favorite drinks. Whether you’re looking for more drink ideas or other uses, here’s how you can enjoy this syrup in a variety of ways.
Whip up blackberry cocktails: Get your cocktail shaker ready — my blackberry margarita is one of the most popular recipes here at Burrata and Bubbles, and you can use this syrup to add even more fruity flavor. You can even add it to my blackberry smash, blackberry mint julep, blackberry-cucumber spritzer or blackberry martini. If a cocktail recipe calls for blackberry, you can be sure this syrup is a welcome addition, such as a blackberry Moscow mule or blackberry mojito.
Give a fruity boost to iced tea and lemonade: You’ll love the fresh flavor it adds here. Doesn't a blackberry lemonade sound like the perfect way to enjoy a hot summer day?
Prepare your own homemade soda: All you need is some bubbly club soda and this syrup, and you have yourself a homemade blackberry soda.
Add moisture to your cake: Brushing simple syrup onto cake layers is an old trick for adding moisture. Plus, you’ll get that additional blackberry flavor.
Drizzle or mix into all sorts of dishes: You can stir some into a yogurt parfait, whip into cream cheese to top on a bagel, add to a fruit salad or top on vanilla ice cream. It’s even great mixed into oatmeal.
Stir into pancake syrup: This simple syrup is a bit thin on its own to go on pancakes, but mix it in with some real maple syrup, and you have yourself a blackberry-flavored pancake syrup.
How to Store and Freeze
Keep the simple syrup in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator. With proper storage, it should keep for two to three weeks.
You definitely want to keep it in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. That fresh fruit will spoil quickly if left unrefrigerated. When the syrup turns cloudy, it’s time for a new batch.
For even longer storage, you can freeze this syrup. You’ll find it’s especially convenient to freeze the syrup in ice cube trays at 1-ounce quantities.
To prevent freezer burn, look for an ice cube tray with a cover or move the ice cubes to a freezer bag once frozen. For the best quality, you’ll want to use the frozen simple syrup within three months.
Nope, simply add them to the water while frozen. They’ll thaw in no time. Of course, you can thaw the berries if you’d like, but it’s not required.
You will get about 12 ounces, which amounts to 1 ½ cups of syrup. If you use 1 ounce for each drink, that means you’ll have about 12 servings from one batch.
That’s not a problem. However, check the sweetener’s package for the recommended substitution ratio for sugar. Many sugar substitutes are not equivalent in sweetness to sugar, so they can’t be swapped in equal parts.
Absolutely, simple syrup is great for scaling up or down. Just double the ingredients and follow the same directions, and you have an extra big batch of simple syrup for your next get-together. Likewise, you can cut the ingredients by half for a smaller gathering.
No, this is a food safety issue because there’s not enough acidity. Freezing is your perfect option if you need longer storage.
Variations and Substitutions
Want to make this tasty blackberry syrup with a twist? Try these ideas — this is truly one versatile recipe.
- Make it a spicy syrup and add some slices of fresh jalapeño or habanero with our fresh berries.
- Add an aromatic, like ginger or lavender, or some herbs, like fresh rosemary, mint, basil, thyme or sage. You'll love that extra dose of fresh flavors.
- Give it extra sweetness with real vanilla extract or a split vanilla bean.
- Swap the blackberries for another fruit.
- Put a citrus touch on it with some freshly grated orange, lime or lemon zest. Fresh lemon juice or lime juice is also a nice spin.
Store your syrup in a squeeze bottle for easy pouring: Trust me, I’ve stored my simple syrup in a jar and in a squeeze bottle, and it’s so much cleaner and more efficient to squirt the syrup from a squeeze bottle.
Transfer the syrup using a small funnel: This makes it much easier to transfer the syrup after straining to your squeeze bottle. You don’t want to spill that tasty syrup.
Use two forks if a potato masher isn’t available: I find a potato masher is more efficient because of the larger surface area, but two forks can certainly mash the berries if need be.
Watch the boil: With just a cup of water, the mixture boils quickly, so don’t walk off too far.
Naturally, a blackberry drink calls for a fruity dish on the side. This custard pie with a mixed berry compote is perfect.
Not only do you get a blackberry topping, but this compote also includes some raspberries and blueberries for a berry trifecta. Those sweet and tart berries are just wonderful together.
When you need a refreshing dose of fresh fruit flavor, you’ll adore this blackberry simple syrup. With its ease and versatility, you’ll want to keep this recipe ready to go in your back pocket. And don’t forget to let me know how to put it to use, especially if you find a new favorite blackberry cocktail.
Enjoy More Simple Syrup Recipes
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Fresh Blackberry Simple Syrup
- Small saucepan
- Potato masher or two forks
- Fine-mesh sieve
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup blackberries fresh or frozen
- Combine the white sugar, water and blackberries in a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer and then a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat. Use a potato masher or fork to break down the blackberries. Let the mixture steep for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour.
- Place a bowl or measuring cup under a fine-mesh sieve or strainer. Strain the blackberries from the liquid and discard the solids. The liquid is your simple syrup. Allow to cool and then store in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
- As long as it's stored correctly, the syrup should last a few weeks. Make sure you store it in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
- You can use thawed frozen blackberries in place of fresh berries, and you don't have to thaw them. Just add them frozen.
- For easy pouring, store in a squeeze bottle.
- Make ahead of serving time if possible to allow the syrup to fully chill.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.