Mother Earth Living

Briar Patch Medicine: Blackberry Syrup

The herbal treasury that grows in hedges.
By Robert K. Henderson
July/August 1997
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Makes about 3 pints
As a digestive tonic and delicious foodstuff, blackberry syrup belongs in any well-stocked pantry. Mind where you throw the seeds, though, unless you want to start a bramble patch!

  • 4 cups whole, fresh blackberries
  • 2 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon each of nutmeg, ­cinnamon, and cloves
  • 4 cups brandy, optional
  1. Rinse the blackberries thoroughly. Then place them in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the blended fruit through a strainer (to strain out the seeds) and back into the blender or processor. Add the sugar and spices and blend thoroughly.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large saucepan, bring to a boil, and, stirring constantly, cook at this heat level for 5 minutes. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal with wax or simple canning lids. Refrigerate after opening.
  3. As a tasty alternative, cool the mixture after you have stirred it for 5 minutes at boiling temperature. When it reaches room temperature, add the optional brandy. Seal in an airtight, nonreactive container and store in a cool, dark place. Let sit for a week before use.

Robert K. Henderson combines his interest in herbs, history, folklore and research in the articles he writes in Olympia, Washington.

Click here for more briar patch recipes from the original article, Briar Patch Medicine.








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