If it seems like I’m on a theme canning-wise, I’m really not. I’m just determined to use what I have in my kitchen to best effect this summer-and in this case, it means merging my current love of runny preserves with a bottle of hard cider.
This recipe shouldn’t have that much of a kick to it if you strain off the alcohol like I did. Or leave it in and it’ll really be a punch-but you may have to boil it down a little further to get the thickness you want.
In theory you could boil this down longer and make it a true preserve or jam but I’ve been a little weird lately and wanting to have things in my cupboard to soak cakes in or mix into seltzer water. Therefore, runny it is.
Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, swap out the hard cider for regular cider, apple juice, or orange juice. Look for a juice that has a fairly assertive flavor profile. Also, don’t rinse out the bowl that you soak your berries in; using the same bowl to macerate your fruit will help keep some of that flavor in.
Spiked Berry Syrup
3 cups mixed berries (there’s four types in this batch)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tbl lemon juice
1 cup fruit-flavored alcohol like hard cider or wine
Place berries and alcohol in a glass bowl. Let sit for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally. Strain berries through a cheesecloth; you can either throw out the alcohol or use it for another purpose at this point.
In the same bowl (not rinsed out) add the berries and sugar. Allow to macerate until the berries start releasing their juices or up to 2 days in the fridge.
In a large saucepan, bring to a boil. Lower temperature and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Mash fruit with a potato masher and allow to come back to simmer for another 5 minutes.
You can can the syrup in prepped jars at this point, or leave it in the fridge. This batch gave me roughly 3 1/2 pint jars. *If canning, please make sure that you understand the basics of water bath canning.