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I'm finicky about breakfast foods and even more finicky about foods involving syrup. I like variety and making my own syrups gives me the opportunity to experiment and lately, my cooking has involved a bit of experimenting with alcohol. Bourbon, for example, provides a distinct and unique flavor in the right recipes and can really highlight a dish.

This blackberry bourbon syrup has multiple uses; pour over your breakfast, breads, ice cream and other desserts, or use in a cocktail.

This syrup will also make a nice additive to any gift basket or gathering.

Step 1: Ingredients

2 pints blackberries

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 tsp maple syrup (optional)

1/4 cup bourbon* (to taste)

1/4-1/2 cup water

1 tbs lemon juice

*to taste: adjust ingredients according to your preferences.

Step 2: Boil

Add all of your ingredients to a good size pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir frequently, making sure that all of the sugar dissolves. Mash berries as you go, this helps them break down faster.

Step 3: Simmer

After about 5 minutes of boiling, lower heat and simmer. Keep stirring periodically and checking for consistency. You want the mixture to coat your spoon. This is usually 20-30 minutes.

Step 4: Store

When your syrup is done, you have two options: allow to cool and then store in an airtight container (in the fridge the syrup will last a couple weeks) OR transfer to cheese cloth and strain the seeds out before bottling. I usually don't strain the seeds and rarely notice.

<p>Yo bourbon's on the top of my things to do list. I'm salivating just imagining it.</p><p>My flavor of the year is strawberries or pears done in a similar fashion, with freshly ground cardamom, freshly squeezed lime (only the first light squeeze), and lime zest if you know how to prepare it, sugar to taste, and a splash of your favorite red wine. Balsamic vinegar is a nice alternative to wine - used sparingly. And a small amount of freshly ground black pepper just makes it complete - a very small amount. Titrate upwards ;)</p><p> Begin with a minimal amount of water. If using pears, simmer slowly until they soften, then a quick boil to evaporate excess water, making a syrupy consistency.. I eat this with dairy (cream and/or yoghurt and/or ice cream), and it is also a great way to make a liquid syrup if strained. Try adding the syrup to a sangria. That should do it for you. Maybe even with a splash of bourbon. Why not ?</p>

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Bio: I am a teacher outside of Boston and I love making cool stuff! Any prizes I'm lucky enough to win will go directly to ... More »
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