Summer is nearly here and that means fresh, abundant berries! Berry simple syrups are some of the easiest to make and the most versatile to use, making them well worth the small effort to make them.
Did you know that you don’t even have to cook blackberry simple syrup? If you prefer the taste of fresh berries rather than the deeper, jammy flavor you get when they’re heated, you can follow the second set of instructions down below. Also try my fun and super quick Fresh Raspberry Simple Syrup Recipe!
I make blackberry simple syrup A LOT, so this post has a ton of info and ideas for how to get the most out of it. If you only need the recipe, hop to the bottom of the page for all the details.
What makes blackberry simple syrup special?
Blackberries have a distinct and delicious flavor that is sweet, slightly tart and tangy, a little earthy, and also a little floral. What makes blackberries different from the other summer berries like strawberries and raspberries is that they have a deeper, richer flavor and a more mellow sweet-to-sour ratio.
When blackberries aren’t quite ripe, they tend to be super sour, yet when they’re fully ripe, they are incredibly sweet and less tart than other berries. What’s great about making blackberry simple syrup is that you can still get great results even with less than perfectly ripe berries. The sugar sweetens them up and the cook time mellows the more sour notes.
Ingredients you’ll need
Sugar or honey: You can use white sugar or honey or a combination for this recipe. You can also use a different kind of sugar like turbinado or demerara, just be aware that the final color will be darker and less vibrant.
Water: Nuff said. Tap water is perfect.
Fresh or frozen blackberries: You can use either fresh or frozen berries and the results will be great. Ripe berries will make the sweetest syrup, but you’ll get a delicious syrup even if you use not-so-sweet berries purchased from the grocery store in the winter.
Small saucepan: A basic small saucepan is all you need, but if you want to make a larger batch, use a bigger pot.
Mesh strainer: In order to strain out the solids and those big blackberry seeds, you’ll want to use a mesh strainer. It doesn’t need to be particularly large, however. I’m able to use a small drinks mesh strainer for most of my simple syrup recipes.
Jar or bottle to store the syrup in: I typically use mason jars or these cute vintage-style glass bottles for my syrups. But you can use whatever you have on hand that can be closed and stored in the refrigerator.
How to make fresh berry syrup (no cooking)
One of my favorite DIY syrup hacks is to just muddle fruit or herbs into plain simple syrup instead of having to whip out the pots and pans and start making a mess. This is especially great when you just want a small amount of the syrup, like for one or two drinks.
This method is also good when you want to preserve the fresh flavor of the fruit or herb and not alter it with high heat. Cooked blackberries do taste quite different from fresh, ripe berries. To make a no-cook blackberry simple syrup:
Add your berries (2 cups) to a jar or other container and muddle them thoroughly to extract their flavorful juices. Be sure that every berry is thoroughly smashed. Find more info in my Fresh Raspberry Simple Syrup Recipe.
Make plain syrup
Next, add your 1 cup sugar (or honey) to a separate container and top it with 1 cup warm water. You can use room temp water, it will just take a little longer for the sugar to dissolve. Stir until you have a clear simple syrup.
Mix it up
Now, combine the simple syrup with the smashed berries and stir to incorporate. It’s helpful to do this in a mason jar, screw on the lid, and then give it a good shake.
Strain and store
Lastly, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, being sure to press on the solids to release all of that delicious fresh blackberry flavor. Store your fresh blackberry syrup in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Ways to use blackberry simple syrup
Blackberries are actually really versatile and can be enjoyed in all kinds of culinary applications, including incorporating them into desserts like pies, tarts, or crumbles, using them in jams or preserves, or adding them to smoothies and salads. Their flavor is a wonderful balance of sweetness and tartness, making them awesome in both sweet and savory dishes.
In addition to drinks like cocktails, this blackberry syrup is excellent on: pancakes, in oatmeal or yogurt, used to moisten layer cakes, drizzled over vanilla or chocolate ice cream, used to sweeten smoothies, or even mixed with oil and lemon juice to make a summery salad dressing. Try it in place of honey or maple syrup in marinades! Here’s a list of ways to enjoy blackberry simple syrup:
- Drizzled over pancakes or waffles
- Swirled into oatmeal or yogurt
- Poured over ice cream or other desserts
- Brushed onto layer cakes
- Used to sweeten smoothies, lattes, iced teas, lemonades
- Make a classic Bramble gin cocktail
- Add summer flavor to salad dressings, marinades, or sauces
- Used in any recipe calling for plain simple syrup, honey or maple syrup!
Blackberry flavor pairings
Want to make your own drinks with this syrup? Here’s some flavor pairing inspiration:
Citrus: The tangy and bright flavors of citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, and orange enhance the sweetness of blackberries and add a contrasting brightness. I almost always pair this blackberry syrup with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice when mixing up a refreshing summer cocktail or mocktail. This flavor combination is also the core of the modern classic gin cocktail, the Bramble. Try a really fun non-alcoholic spin on the classic with my Blackberry Jamble Mocktail.
Vanilla: The smooth, warm, floral and earthy nature of vanilla enhance the tangy sweetness of any berry. Add a vanilla bean to this syrup recipe to add depth to the flavor.
Mint: The fresh and herbaceous qualities of mint is a nice contrast to the sweetness and rich flavor of blackberries. A fresh sprig of mint makes for a great garnish on blackberry drinks like iced tea, lemonade, or a Bramble.
Almond: The nuttiness of almonds pairs well with blackberries. You can even add blackberries to the classic almond-based syrup, orgeat. Find my raspberry orgeat recipe on Instagram!
Ginger: The spicy and aromatic nature of ginger perfectly complements the sweet and tangy flavor of blackberries. Try adding a splash of blackberry syrup to ginger ale with a squeeze of lemon or lime. Yum! Make it a Blackberry Moscow Mule by adding a couple ounces of vodka.
Dark Chocolate: The rich and slightly bitter notes of dark chocolate can create a decadent combination with blackberries. This blackberry syrup is amazing over Talenti dark chocolate gelato!
Honey: The natural sweetness and floral undertones of honey can enhance those flavors in blackberries. If you love honey, you can make this syrup with honey in place of sugar. Make the flavor more subtle by substituting only half of the sugar with honey. Learn more about How to Make Honey Syrup.
More blackberry drink recipe inspiration!
Blackberry simple syrup can be used in place of blackberry or black raspberry liqueur in a variety of recipes. Here are some popular and delicious drink options that incorporate blackberry syrup or liqueur:
Combine 8 fresh mint leaves, 3/4 oz lime juice, 3/4 oz blackberry syrup, and 2 oz white rum. Top it off with soda water and garnish with fresh blackberries and a mint sprig.
Shake 1 oz blackberry syrup, 2 oz tequila, and 1 oz lime juice with ice. Strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice and garnish with a lime wedge and blackberries.
Muddle 5 mint leaves, 3/4 oz blackberry syrup and 3 lemon wedges in a shaker. Add 2 oz bourbon and ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into glass filled with ice and garnish with fresh blackberries and a mint sprig. If you like this, you’ll love my Blueberry Linden Flower Smash.
Mix 2 oz gin, 1 oz lemon juice, and 1/2 oz simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice and drizzle 1/2 oz blackberry simple syrup on top. Garnish with blackberries and a lemon wheel.
Shake blackberry syrup, vodka or gin, and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice, top with soda water, and garnish with blackberries and a lemon wheel. Learn all about the Collins in my Make Your Own Cocktails: The Collins Recipe Template.
Combine 1/2 – 1 oz blackberry syrup with chilled prosecco or champagne in a flute glass. Garnish with a fresh blackberry or a twist of lemon. This is the perfect way to celebrate summer events like weddings or even just a girl’s night in!
Blackberry Elderflower Fizz
Mix 1 oz blackberry syrup, 1/2 oz elderflower liqueur, 2 oz vodka, and 1 oz lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Strain into a glass filled with ice and top with sparkling water. Garnish with blackberries and a sprig of thyme.
Blackberry Sparkler Mocktail
Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour 1 1/2 oz blackberry syrup and 1 ounce of lemon juice over the ice, then top with sparkling water. Garnish with fresh blackberries and a lemon wheel or a sprig of mint.
You might also enjoy my Easy Elderberry Syrup Recipe!
More blackberry recipe inspiration from around the web:
Blackberry Simple Syrup Recipe (Plus a No Cook Recipe!)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Once the berries begin to break down and the syrup is a deep red color, remove from the heat.
- Allow the mixture to cool fully before straining out the solids. Solids can be saved and used as a topping for ice cream or even mixed into overnight oats or chia pudding!
- Store the finished blackberry simple syrup in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.