Mulberries aren't a true berry as they grow on a tree and the main varieties produce either, red, black or white fruit. I've used the red before in a mulberry and cinnamon cake but this is my first experience with the black mulberries.
The first thing to note is that these berries are extremely juicy - so juicy in fact that they can stain your fingers with their deep red juice. The second is that they are highly perishable - if you buy them make sure you have a use for them straight away. They are so delicate that even the pressure of sitting in their container caused the berries at the bottom to squash and release their juice.
When it came to deciding what to make this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, something suitable for a celebration was in order. At first I thought of making something you could enjoy with champagne but then it came to me, how about something to put in the champagne.
The solution came in the form of a syrup - a mix of mulberry and blood orange juice.
200 grams fresh mulberries
1 blood orange, juiced
1 teaspoon sugar
Champagne, or you favourite Sparkling wine
Make the mulberry and blood orange syrup:
I've used blood orange mainly because of their colour but regular orange would also work - the final product might not be as intensely coloured.
Put the mulberries, orange juice and sugar into a small saucepan and place over a low heat. Slowly let the mixture come to simmering point - stirring initially to dissolve the sugar and then occasionally to help the mulberries break down.
When the mixture has broken down fully, take a stick blender and blend until smooth. Strain this through a fine sieve and return the liquid to a clean pan. Simmer until the mixture reduces by a third.
Set aside to cool - when cool, place in a sealed bottle and store in the fridge.
Give the syrup a stir before using - pour the cold syrup into a flute and then top with chilled Champagne.
You could also serve it with lemonade for a non-alcoholic version.
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