That was my experience with this refreshingly light spritzer with just the about the perfect nuances of flavor.
Bubbly sweet fizziness with resonating notes of fresh herbs and fruit vibrantly imparting tartness, woodsy lemon, and coolness that caress your throat with every gulp.
I came up with this recipe as I sat today in the sweltering humid July heat. I live in California, so it doesn’t rain where I live very often, but it did for the past two days–and the after effects were barely tolerable, like the perfect storm of humidity and rising temperatures.
The fan on high mere inches from my face had absolutely no effect at all- I’d swear that it wasn’t even on if I weren’t watching the blades spin.
At this point food was the furthest thing from my mind. However, I was contemplating what would feel refreshing on day like this, and then out of nowhere came a spark of ingenuity: I remembered I used to drink spritzers all the time.
I thought about and experimented with various combinations of herbs and fruit and came up with this recipe.
There’s something about the ingredients each offering such unique flavors- all distinctive, blending to form one perfect drink. It important to note that these ingredients not only taste great, but are wonderful for you.
Blackberry is amazing for relieving symptoms of PMS, digestive issues, and for healthy, clear, glowing skin.
Mint is great for soothing upset stomachs, inhibiting the growth of fungi and bacteria, and even helping with the symptoms of asthma.
Marjoram fights the common cold and infections. It’s packed with vitamins antioxidants, and helps with everything from constipation to improving blood circulation.
Some benefits are immediate, and some are sustained over a period of time. For maximum effectiveness, its best to incorporate a little in your diet everyday.
I used wild marjoram, which is most similar to thyme. There is another variety of marjoram- sweet, which is most similar to oregano. In my opinion it’s not quite as pungent but still much stronger and with different flavors than the wild variety. If you use sweet marjoram, the result won’t be the same.
For the mint, I used peppermint. It has a unique subtle coolness that is perfect for this drink. I grow spearmint and peppermint. I tried both, and felt that the peppermint was the perfect counterpoint for the other flavors.
Also, this version is non-alcoholic but this can be morphed into an amazing cocktail by simply adding a little of your favorite vodka, gin, or wine.
I wanted to mention that with alcohol and especially wine, not all of it is vegan. In my opinion, unless you have an unbelievably outstanding memory and can remember all the alcoholic products that are vegan, it’s a lot easier to use an app. There are many great vegan alcohol/wines apps. I use Barnivore. I find it helpful and very insightful. Before reading their material I had no idea that so many alcoholic beverages had hidden animal by-products.
The following recipe is for the syrup, which you then just mix with soda water. There are plenty of other creative uses for it- use an ounce or so in unflavored hot or iced tea or add as a flavoring for desserts, including vegan ice cream.
Blackberry Mint Spritzer
- Four Blackberries
- One Sprig Mint
- One Inch Section Wild Marjaram
- 1/2 cup Coconut Sugar
- 1/2 cup Water (to dissolve sugar)
- 6 to 7 ounces per serving Soda Water
1.) Heat water in a pot to a rolling boil add the coconut sugar, stir and dissolve thoroughly, then remove from heat.
2.) Add the blackberries, marjoram, and mint.
3.) Steep for 10 minutes.
4.) Sieve the liquid through a colander into a bowl, removing the fruit and herbs.
5.) Pour the mixture into a jar and refrigerate. Let cool at least an hour before using. Use as needed.
6.) When making a spritzer, pour 6 to 7 ounces soda water in a glass adding 1 to 2 ounces of flavored sugar water.
If you enjoy a hint of flavor use only one ounce of sugar water, and for a really sweet flavorful drink, use two.
More summer drinks recipes: Refreshing Moscow Mule
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Photo: Alex Kudukis