Blackberry Syrup

5 from 6 votes
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Blackberries on the bush
Photo by Hank Shaw

When life gives you mushed blackberries, make blackberry syrup.

There’s a thing about blackberry picking: The berries are painfully fragile. I pick into long, wide, lidded containers so I don’t have so many layers of blackberries crushing the poor berries on the bottom. But even then it happens. A lot.

And once you have even slightly mushed berries, the clock starts ticking. Soon you will have fermented or moldy blackberries, a sad thing. You didn’t get all those scratches on your legs and hands for nothing, did you?

Blackberry syrup was my favorite syrup when I was a little kid eating silver dollar pancakes at IHOP, and even though I haven’t been to one since college, I still remember the tart, sweet, slightly wild flavor of that syrup. As it happens, it’s pretty easy to make at home.

You need blackberries. A few pounds at least. You then need a pot to cook them in, sugar, a spoon to stir them, a potato masher or somesuch to mush your mushed blackberries even further, and, finally, you need a very fine-meshed sieve. I recommend this strainer. Oh, and you’ll need some Mason jars to store your syrup in.

Blackberries in a bowl
Photo by Hank Shaw

This is a recipe I use for any of the compound fruits. Blackberries, yes, but also 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 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.

Blackberries on the bush
5 from 6 votes

Blackberry Syrup

Any bramble fruit, fresh or frozen, wild or store-bought, will work with this recipe. Blackberries, blackcap raspberries, regular raspberries, dewberries, cloudberries, salmon berries, thimbleberries, etc. My method works really well for any normal kitchen. But, for those of you with fancy juicers, you can pretty much make an instant puree/juice from your blackberries. Just measure out equal parts blackberry juice to sugar, heat the mixture to dissolve the sugar, then strain and put in jars.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 50 servings
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


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


  • Pour the blackberries into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Pour the sugar all over the berries, but do not stir. Let the heat begin to break the blackberries before stirring gently, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir every five minutes, just to keep anything from burning on the bottom of the pan. Let the blackberries melt with the sugar slowly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, and mash the berries with a potato masher. You don't need to wail on them, but you want to get as much juice as you can.
  • 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. Keep doing this until you have all the blackberries in the sieve. Let this drain for 1 hour, or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Once the berries are in the sieve, do not mash them, or you will get cloudy syrup.
  • Pour off the syrup into jars and either keep in the fridge or seal in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Oh, and the leftover blackberries? Mix them with plain yogurt and they are delicious!


Some people want a less-sweet syrup, which is perfectly fine. You can add sugar to taste if you want. The tradeoff is longevity. If you don't use this much sugar, your syrup will not store as long; sugar is a preservative. Done my way, this syrup will store in the fridge a long time, easily a year or more.


Serving: 20g | Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Excellent! Made syrup out of 4 lbs of blackberries today. Already thinking of ways to use it (such as a soda water/syrup/vodka on the rocks).

  2. I’ve been using this recipe for 3 years now. I prefer it to be less sweet, so I add less sugar. I did a water bath to can last year, and it turned out great. I sent several jars for presents to family and friends! Excellent recipe!!!

  3. Great writing & hints! Thanks for sharing the easy recipe! This year (2017) up in the NW area, (SW Washington woods) the blackberries are just PERFECT for syrup. The extra long rainy season followed by long, hot temps this summer made for the most gigantic, delicious, low seed blackberries ever! To top it off, the berries have a hint of smokiness from the Canadian wild fires that were unfortunately raging. But, Oh my gosh, such AMAZING FLAVOR!! I really recommend using this recipe for most all your berries. That way it will be on hand for recipes in the coming cold weather. Makes a nice holiday gift bottle with a added ribbon for older folks who can not tolerate seeds due to dental/medical conditions. They will truly appreciate the thought!! You can also gently swirl some into muffins, pancakes, cornbread, & pour over cheesecake. Pretty much, just use your imagination. Last year, i was also pleasantly surprised to discover how pork roast taste lovely dipped in a bit of syrup. Also, blackberry jelly, jam, or syrup on breads with butter compliments a savory homemade beef stew.

  4. I take the dried, hardened or mushy ones and immerse them in white vinegar. Let set for at least a month, strain through coffee filter and you have excellent blackberry vinegar for marinades, basting meats or salads.

  5. Can I just mash the berries up, strain the seeds, and then cook it down until the natural sugars do their thing? I tried making fruit leather today with my epic harvest but I live too primitively to make it turn out properly using the oven. I can’t let them go to waste and I already have a ton of jam…

  6. A couple of different ideas that I use after making a syrup with the leftover berries 1. Put the berries in clear alcohol and let steep for a couple of weeks or 2. Make a soft cheese like farmers adding the berries at the end.

  7. We blackberry pick in the valley which is so hot that we rarely get berries as much as we get mush. I just run it through the food mill when I get home and make it into syrup or jelly. I never used a recipe but I like this pound for pound to make it easy.

    1. David: Who knows? I’ve never eaten the stuff. But if you try it and it works, can you report back here? I bet other people would like to know!

  8. Hank – any idea if the syrup could be canned so it wouldn’t need refrigeration? I have limited storage room – especially in the fridge.

    1. Tom: Yes. Don’t I have in the directions a step where you can can it in boiling water for 10 minutes? If not, then yes, you can do that.