The blueberry season is at its peak here in Ontario. Blueberries are undoubtedly one of the best treats of summer! Aside from eating them fresh, why not to bottle them up as a syrup to use in drinks to share with friends and family? I love having a good syrup on hand for a refreshing drink or quick tea. This syrup is a true seasonal celebration of fresh blueberries.
This blueberry-thyme syrup makes multiple sodas, cocktails or quick teas. Its vibrantly magenta colour is also a proof that it’s chock-full of health promoting antioxidants! Blueberries pair so naturally with thyme, but feel free to replace with other herbs like mint or rosemary to add flavour and boost the nutrition. The lemon juice helps preserve colour and enhances the natural blueberry flavour beautifully.
4 cups blueberries (fresh, but frozen work as well)
3 cups water
a knob or two of fresh ginger
about 4 teaspoons dried thyme
about 4 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
honey to taste
How to make:
Simmer everything but the lemon juice and honey for about 15-20 minutes. Strain, cool a bit and add lemon juice and honey. Pour off into a clean and dry bottle and refrigerate.
Note: the amount of honey you add will determine the shelf life. If made with ½ cup of honey to 1 cup of decoction, the syrup will have a shelf life of 3 weeks, refrigerated; if made with 2 cups of honey, the syrup will have a shelf life of 1 year, refrigerated (Cech, 2000; Gladstar, 2012).
To make a refreshing drink: pour 3 tablespoons of the blueberry thyme syrup into a glass, add 8 ounces of carbonated water, stir gently and add ice. Garnish with whole fresh blueberries if desired.
While this recipe is for a syrup, you can also add just a dash of honey and drink it as a tea within 36 hours.
To imbibe: spoon 1 tablespoon of syrup into a champagne flute and top with chilled sparkling wine. Taste and add more syrup if desired.