Last weekend my family moved to the country. After three years in a rental home, we bought a house just outside of city limits. Two-point-three acres of our own Indiana clay.
In the back corner of our property, the neighbor’s mulberry tree hangs heavy with fruit over our yard. On a muggy afternoon while Owen napped, Rosie and I hiked back to pick fruit and stave off the summer doldrums.
Here’s the thing about mulberries: they’re not very good. They aren’t sweet, or sour; they have a dusky,earthy taste and very little acidity. They certainly don’t taste bad — but their mildness of flavor doesn’t quite seem worth hours of work harvesting and picking stems off.
On the other hand, they’re really good for you – Mulberries are source of raw food protein, as well as magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and fiber. In addition, mulberries have high concentration of resveratrol, an antioxidant currently being studied for its effects on heart health.
And there’s something about fruit you’ve picked yourself, that grows on your own land, isn’t there?
When we got back to the house after an hour spent picking mulberries and exploring (a baby robin fell out of the tree while we were picking!), I decided to turn the berries into a light refreshing summer drink.
Mulberry Gin Fizz
1 ¼ cup mulberries
¼ cup simple syrup
1. To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small pot. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until the sugar is fully dissolved. (Reserve your extra simple syrup for sweetening iced coffees. You can add some vanilla to it if you like.)
2. Blend ¼ cup simple syrup with 1 ¼ mulberries until smooth.
3. Press your blended mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds and woody bits.
4. For each drink, pour about an ounce of muberry syrup into a glass. Add roughly two ounces of sparkling water and several ice cubes. If desired, add gin to taste.
Amy teaches ESL Writing and American Pop Culture at Taylor University. She and her husband, Jack, met while teaching English in Southeast Asia. After three years living in international community in Seattle, they settled in rural Indiana with their two little children. Amy loves dabbling in gardening and composting, baking sweet things, repurposing through sewing, and making all kinds of things from scratch. She also blogs at Making All Things New and for Christ and Pop Culture.