Friday, November 19, 2010

Bringing back the original blackberry with Blackberry Herb Cocktail

Once upon a time, children, blackberries grew on trees, not in people’s hands.
   Honestly! I ain’t lyin’.
   There is a luscious, jewel-like berry that grows on bushes. You don’t talk into them or touch their screens – you eat them!
   They lend a delicious taste to salads, pies, tarts and drinks.
   A good way to prove to people that you’re not telling a tall tale about blackberries is by serving Blackberry Herb Cocktail (click for the recipe) from Bon Appetit magazine.
   The cocktail is a blend of the berry’s juice with a lovely hint of rosemary, topped off with Prosecco, a type of Italian sparkling white wine.
   It makes an elegant start to dinner, and would go well with appetizers.
   If you’ve had a Kir Royale before, a combination of crème de cassis (blackberry liqueur) and champagne, you’ve had something similar to this cocktail.
   But Blackberry Herb Cocktails have something the Kir Royale doesn’t – that hint of rosemary that blends in perfectly.
   These cocktails are easy to make (just as easy as operating the handheld device!)
   Fresh blackberries, sugar (I used Splenda instead), water and chopped fresh rosemary are simmered until thickened and reduced.    The mixture, now a simple syrup, is strained into a glass measuring cup, and chilled into cold.
   The recipe says to divide Prosecco among champagne flutes, then pour some syrup into each drink.
   I did just the opposite: I put some syrup in the flutes, poured in Prosecco, then gave the cocktails a stir (I poured in the Prosecco over the sink in case it foamed up.) That way, I could add more syrup to taste if I wanted.
   You can also serve the syrup with non-alcoholic fizzy drinks, too, such as club soda or ginger ale.

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