Several evenings ago MM (my sister) and I picked fresh, ripe blackberries in the open field at Discovery Park. She had found a bank of bushes heavy with berries earlier in the day and was eager to pick more to make blackberry vinegar. I joined her to pick berries which I could run through the “juicer” to extract the seeds; using the thick puree as the base for wonderful summer ice cream and sorbet.
It was dusky, around 7:30 PM and the sun, low on the horizon cast a light that made berry picking a bit challenging as we faced into the western sky. But that didn’t dampen our spirits; there was a light breeze and the bushes were loaded with berries, some so high and back in the brush that they will certainly never be touched by human hands. I hope the wildlife can enjoy those that we cannot reach. We picked for about 30 minutes and our fingertips were purple from the ripe juice. The berries were gorgeous.
Earlier in the day I had gathered the ingredients to make Mojitos; the white rum, fresh lime, and mint leaves. My plan was to celebrate day’s end with a cocktail. I have never made a mojito but something about drinking one appealed. I realized quickly that without mortar and pestle the crushing of the mint, lime and sugar slush requires some improvising. MM suggested adding a few blackberries for “garnish” but we ended up going beyond this by adding a teaspoon of pure, fresh and seedless blackberry puree to the drinks. Beyond amazing….this variation on the classic mojito clearly warrants a name all its own. The Discovery Park Blackberry Mojito is divine; perfect for sipping on late summer evenings; two really hit the spot.
Recipe for Discovery Park Blackberry Mojito (single serving)
12 mint leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of ¼ to ½ fresh lime (to taste)
Crush together (pestle desirable but anything firm will do the job)
Add 1-2 shots of white rum
Then, add cold club soda (1/4 to 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon blackberry juice
Mix well and pour over ice, garnish with a few fresh blackberries.