Blackberry syrup: for drinks & vinaigrette

steak salad with blackberry vinaigrette

Inspired by this recipe for Blackberry Smash cocktail from A Calculated Whisk, I made some blackberry syrup last week. I had a whole bunch of blackberries in the freezer and this was a great way to use them up!

We were having friends over for a birthday dinner, so I set out some of the syrup in a small glass pitcher along with some lime La Croix (sparkling water, club soda) and some fresh lemon and lime slices, for people to mix their own flavored soda.

I also used some of the syrup to whip up a simple blackberry balsamic vinaigrette, which we served over a salad with strawberries and blueberries in it.

And then — poor me! — I had salad leftovers for lunch the next day, along with some leftover steak!

steak salad with blackberry vinaigrette

Here are the recipes…

Blackberry Syrup Recipe

6 ounces of fresh or frozen blackberries

2 T. honey

2 T. maple syrup

1/4 cup water (next time I will use less, though; maybe just 2 T.)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


I use half honey and half maple syrup so that neither flavor dominates, but if you want to use all of one, you certainly may.

If your blueberries are frozen, thaw them slightly. Mix everything except for the vanilla together in a small saucepan over medium-low (or lower, if necessary), and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Smash and stir occasionally.

Take it off the heat, stir in the vanilla, then let it cool to lukewarm or room temp — just enough so if you splash some on you, it won’t burn. Puree it in a blender, then pour through a strainer into a glass container, and refrigerate till cool. (If you don’t have a blender, you can skip that step. Just mash them really well in the strainer, and know that you’ll get a slightly smaller yield.)

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

1 part maple syrup

1 part blackberry syrup

4 parts balsamic vinegar (or 2 parts balsamic, 2 parts berry-infused balsamic if you have it)

6 parts olive oil

optional: 1 part mayo (helps emulsify the dressing)

coarse salt, to taste


The “parts” can be anything: tablespoons, teaspoons, half-teaspoons, any old spoon. Cups, if you’re feeding an army! I used teaspoons, and this made enough dressing for about 8 – 10 servings.

For the salt, I would use one generous pinch if your parts are teaspoons; triple that if using tablespoons.

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake well. Boom! — you’re done!


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