Summer in Ontario is so short that when we reach peak produce time, I end up shopping like a maniac. Never mind that I show up at the market with merely a bicycle basket and a backpack — why let common sense and basic spatial awareness ruin my desire to have all of the fruit?
Several quarts of apricots, a basket of zucchini, and a flat of blueberries later (to say nothing of the more reasonable quantities of cauliflower, kale, and cheese), I return to my puny bike and its punier basket and realize that I might have a problem.
Through extraordinary feats of strength and ingenuity, the groceries all make it home with me — only for me to remember, upon arrival, that we are, in fact, a household of merely two people, and our apricot-consumption abilities are only so strong. So I haul out the canning pot and get to work.
But there’s always some odds and ends left over. In this case, we had an abundance of fresh blueberries. I considered making a sauce for pancakes or something similar, but to be honest, I really can’t stand pancakes (seriously, who would choose them over French Toast?), and after all the canning, I was getting tired. I wanted a drink. And then like magic: boom! The blueberries became destined for a cocktail.
Thus was born the Blueberry Gin Fizz. It’s made from a blueberry simple syrup (which comes together in minutes), some lime juice, a hint of mint for freshness, plenty of gin, and it’s topped with soda. And you could swap ingredients out based on what you have — Thai or sweet basil would be nice instead of the mint, blackberries or raspberries would be lovely in the syrup, and if you don’t have enough limes, you could always swap in some fresh lemon or orange juice, adjusting the acidity to taste.
Blueberry gin fizz
- 3 heaping cups (~500g) fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbs water
- 2 cups gin
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (~5-6 limes)
- 16-20 fresh mint leaves
- club soda
- In a medium pot on high heat, combine the blueberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. While the berries are simmering, mash them (ideally with a potato masher) as much as possible. Strain the solids from the syrup,* and allow the syrup to cool.
- In a pitcher, muddle the mint leaves, and then add the gin, lime juice, and blueberry syrup. Stir together.
- Fill 8 glasses with some ice, and divide the blueberry-gin mixture amongst them (they should be roughly half full). Top with soda, stir, and garnish with mint sprigs (if desired).