The heat of July is upon us, and I have a feeling August is only going to make things hotter. The other night, I considered sleeping out in the goat pen because I was convinced that it would be cooler outdoors than inside our air-conditioning free house. The only thing that kept me inside was the imminent threat of mosquitos lifting my body and carrying me off.
Although there are many ways to cool off (skinny dipping, repeating the ice bucket challenge, cold showers, sleeping in a goat pen), these sno-cones are probably the most fun. You might even catch a brain freeze with your buzz, which will be a nice relief from living in temperatures that rival the surface of the sun.
You'll need a bag of frozen blackberry's - or fresh blackberries... but frozen is much easier - let's just keep it real here. And you'll need some crushed ice.
Crushed ice is one of those things that seems really difficult, but in reality, it's just ice. That's been crushed. My blender makes the softest, fluffiest crushed ice I've ever had. If I had a fridge that made ice for me, I would make a bathtub full of crushed ice from my blender, but since I have to hand make my ice cubes like a peasant, I will stick to tiny glasses of it (and to soften the blow, I will add vodka).
I used blackberries from my grandfather's garden, which we froze last fall, and decided to use up this summer. These blackberries produced a large amount of juice once thawed, I didn't want to waste the juice, so I made this syrup. If your frozen berries don't release juice once thawed, simply skip the thawing process and place the whole berries into the saucepan, and strain them out at the end.
Blackberry Thyme Syrup
- 1-2 bags frozen blackberries
- Large Handful of Thyme
- 2 cups sugar
Step 1: Place your blackberries in a strainer. Place the strainer over a large bowl. Allow the blackberries to thaw, they will release the juices into the strainer. I prefer this method because you can use the blackberries for jam afterwards.
If you're in a hurry: place the blackberries directly into a saucepan with the thyme and the sugar.
Step 2: Remove the strainer with the blackberries in it. There should be 2-3 cups of juice in the bowl that was below the blackberries. If there isn't enough (or any) juice, place all of the contents in a saucepan.
If there is juice, measure 2 cups of it, and place it into a saucepan.
This is tricky because I am not sure if frozen blackberries from the store will produce the same amount of juice that the home picked blackberries did.
Step 3: Add the sugar and thyme to the pan, stir well, and allow to just barely simmer for 1-2 hours. If you have extra juice, you can add it, simply increase the sugar accordingly, keeping a 1:1 ratio.
Step 4: If you placed the whole blackberries in the pan, use cheesecloth to strain everything out. If you didn't put the blackberries in the pan, simply use a mesh straining spoon to fish out the thyme and any seeds or berry skins.
Step 5: Pour the syrup into a jar and allow to cool. This will keep well for about a month. It goes great on ice cream too!
Boozy Blackberry Thyme Sno-Cones
- 1 cup Blackberry Thyme Syrup
- 1/2 cup Vodka
- 1 tray ice, crushed in a blender
Combine the syrup & vodka in a cocktail shaker, and shake over ice. Pour the contents into a squirt bottle, if you don't have a squirt bottle, a turkey baster works well ;).
Fill glasses or paper cones with crushed ice, drizzle vodka-syrup over each glass. Serve with a spoon, and enjoy!