Maybe I’m a bit of a plant nerd, but I think one of the coolest things is to pluck ingredients straight out of nature and use them in your every day meals. Tomatoes from the vine in a homemade red sauce, fresh salad greens snipped right from the ground, and mulberries plucked from the trees to make anything from jam to martinis. And as you can see, I chose the latter on that one. Even if you don’t have access to fresh ingredients in your backyard, you can still find plenty of fresh produce at your local farmer’s market and grocery stores to recreate some of the cocktails and dishes you find.
Given that these mulberries were found out here in the country, I thought I might make another rustic country cocktail, but that felt a little predictable. I decided to go the martini route for something that looked a little more sophisticated, while still keeping the recipe simple. Mulberries and a little fresh rosemary boiled down make for a sweet and fragrant homemade simple syrup that could lend some sweetness to iced tea or lemonade… or vodka of course.
Mulberry Simple Syrup:
1 1/2 cups fresh mulberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 small sprig of fresh rosemary
Combine all of the syrup ingredients in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and bring mixture to a simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool. Strain into a sealing container through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the mulberries to get as much liquid through. Discard pulp and rosemary. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
(makes 2 martinis)
1 Tbs sugar (for martini glasses)
4oz vodka, chilled
2oz mulberry simple syrup
1 1/2oz lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
Sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish
Extra mulberries for garnish
Pour sugar out onto a shallow dish. Run a lemon wedge around the edges of two martini glasses and then dip and press into the sugar, completely coating the rims. Set glasses aside.
Add vodka, mulberry simple syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Shake for 10-15 seconds and then strain into glasses. Garnish with a few berries and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Serve right away.