This City Girl is slowly becoming a Country Girl. My home, office and clinic is tucked away down a winding lane, surrounded by blackberries. So when I decided to paint, purple became a necessary color. And Bramble Cottage came into being.
I recently found out that we Brits talk about Brambles and it’s not such a well known word in the USA. Who knew?
Today I’m excited to share my love of foraging. Or, finding free food. Blackberries are full of nutrients and super good for you, as well as being fiber rich. Not everyone loves those pesky little seeds, but they do get things on the move, if you know what I mean.
First pickings were a little tart (first batch often is) so I popped some sugar on with a splash of Chambord. Served with ice cream. Delish! But how to keep the goodness for the winter?
At Bramble Cottage I have a new fridge freezer. Picking and freezing. Simple.
There’s something else I love to do with brambles. Making jam. My home-made blackberry jams are delightful little spoonfuls of summer goodness that can be enjoyed all through the year. I always make a strained jam, for the seed haters. And I make a half the seeds jam, for the seed lovers. Depending on my mood, I change up the recipes. This year I kept it simple and have a bunch of little Christmas gifts all ready for giving.
But today I’m sharing my Bramble Cottage Blackberry Cordial recipe: Simple, elegant and shhh…don’t tell anyone, super easy.
But first, let’s find out why Blackberries are so good for us:
- Anti-oxidants. Chocker-block full of anti-oxidants. You can tell by the deep purple color. Who knew? Anti-oxidants lower our cancer risks.
- Vitamin C and Bio-flavonoids. All our body needs Vitamin C to keep it healthy and the bio-flavonoids help.
- Low in calories, so we can eat lots. One cup has only 62 calories.
- A magical youth potion. Yes, that’s right, blackberries help your skin stay young and are good for your brain’s health.
- Relaxation. Lots of Vitamin K helps your muscles relax. Blackberries are anti-inflammatory, traditionally used by Herbalists by making a tea from the leaves to help with menstruation and sore throats. I sweeten the tea with berries and honey.
I’m old-school. I use sugar in my jams and in my cordial. Moderation in all things my dears. A little sugar isn’t causing the obesity crisis.
Making Bramble Cottage Blackberry Cordial:
- Mason jar (or jars)
Make sure everything is clean. You don’t need to sterilize the jar like jam making. Pop blackberries into your jar. When half full, add sugar. Give it a shake to make sure your blackberries are covered. Fill up the rest of the jar with blackberries. Pour in vodka to cover. Close the jar and give it a shake.
Keep it in a cool, dark place. I use my pantry. Shake the jar 2x day for 30 days. It’s easy when in the pantry because I go in there everyday.
After 30 days, strain through cheesecloth and put into a nice bottle. Toss left over fruit debris in the compost pile.
Now, if you can, save it for another 60 days. But, honestly, you can get into it after 30 days. If you choose to use Irish Whiskey instead of Vodka, you have to leave it for a year before you strain. Argh! I’ve done it. It’s delish!
Serve your Bramble Cottage Blackberry Cordial in little cordial glasses after dinner. Wonderful.
Also fabulous over ice cream.
And that’s how we keep the taste of summer going all year at Bramble Cottage.