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Blackberry Syrup

Photo by Hank Shaw

Photo by Hank Shaw

This is a recipe I use for any of the compound fruits, such as blackberries, raspberries, loganberries, boysenberries, salmonberries, etc. It won’t work with blueberries or huckleberries — you need a fruit with a soft enough skin to melt under low heat.

My method sounds persnickety, but it results in a clear, beautiful syrup. Use it over pancakes, in drinks, as an ingredient in a barbecue sauce, as a base for ice cream or sorbet — the possibilities are wide.

This syrup will store in the fridge a long time, easily six months — if you can stop yourself from eating it all that long.

Yields 1 quart

  • 2 pounds blackberries, raspberries or similar fruit
  • 2 pounds sugar


  1. Pour the blackberries into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Pour the sugar all over the berries, but do not stir.
  2. Let the heat begin to break the blackberries before stirring gently, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir every five minutes, just to keep anything from burning on the bottom of the pan. Let the blackberries melt with the sugar slowly.
  4. As soon as the syrup hits a simmer, turn off the heat.
  5. Set a very fine-meshed sieve over a large bowl. Carefully ladle out some free-run syrup, which will be beneath the floating blackberries. Pour it through the sieve.
  6. Keep doing this until you have all the blackberries in the sieve. Let this drain for 1 hour. Do not mash the berries into the sieve, or you will get cloudy syrup.
  7. Pour off the syrup into jars and either keep in the fridge or seal in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  8. Oh, and the leftover blackberries? Mix them with plain yogurt and they are delicious!

More Recipes for Sweets and Syrups

13 responses to “Blackberry Syrup”

  1. Joshua Johnston

    Persnickety or not this is a great recipe. The second time I made it I made one change and added the zest from half a lemon just to give it a little bite. Other than that incredible is all there is to say!

  2. Blackberry Syrup Soda | amy in the woods

    […] Hank Shaw’s Blackberry Syrup […]

  3. William Johnson

    I chair a student garden in north wales and this is one of my favorite ways of preserving to show off our produce to new students. I freeze it in ice cube trays and each cube works out as a nice portion for flavoring a cider.

  4. Sher in Ky

    I would like to try this recipe (have frozen blackberries from this summer’s pickings) but I have a question. When you say in Step 6 “Keep doing this until you have all the blackberries in the sieve. Let this drain for 1 hour. Do not mash the berries into the sieve, or you will get cloudy syrup.” does this mean that you keep cooking it slowly and ladling the free-run syrup?

    Thank you!

  5. kwhitlock

    Is it possible to cut the sugar down and still get a beautiful syrup? I’ve made it before using your exact recipe and it was perfection. Nervous to waste ingredients but looking to cut sugar.

    Thank you!

  6. April

    I have been processing the berries through a juicer and get instant,fairly thick syrup. My questions are: Is it necessary to cook the berries, like for sanitation, or can they just be kept in the fridge in a bottle fresh? And, what does it mean to “seal in a hot water bath”? Should this be done with the fresh, uncooked berry mix that I do?

  7. dodie

    I have left over juice from making jelly. I want to make syrup from it. I don’t see any recipes using only unsweetened juice. Can any body help me?

  8. Kristi

    Can i throw in some whole berries to make a syrup with berries in it? Would I use the same berries or new, fresh, uncooked ones?

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