This refreshing and perfectly sweet Blackberry Vanilla Mocktail made from fresh blackberry puree and vanilla paste is a favorite summer drink for all ages.
I’m a huge fan of vanilla paste. When you add it to your favorite recipes, you get that intense vanilla flavor without any of the alcohol you get when you add extract. If you don’t have vanilla beans on hand, paste is a great alternative. I was at the farmer’s market last week and our local store, New Seasons Market, was giving away samples, along with the recipe, of a blackberry vanilla mocktail. First of all, that little two-sip sample they handed out was so refreshing on that gorgeous sunny day. Second, I watched them prepare the next batch and what were they using for the vanilla? This same exact vanilla paste. New Seasons is a high end grocery store located throughout the Portland metro area, and I knew that if they were using this product, it had to be a good one.
The base of this recipe is all of the ingredients, minus the seltzer water that gets added just before stirring. Pressing the blackberry puree through a fine mesh strainer is a serious pain in the butt, but well worth the effort to avoid seeds in your drink. These blackberries were destined to be used for something wonder. We picked them ourselves and my poor son got stung by a wasp on the berry farm! After that, I had to make him a special treat. The sweetened blackberry vanilla puree can be added to ice cube trays and frozen if you’d like. I also took the puree to a backyard party and we mixed it with lemonade. There are tons of options!
- 2 pints fresh blackberries
- juice from 3 lemons
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- sparkling water
- Puree blackberries in blender and strain through fine mesh strainer. I recommend using a silicon spatula to press as much of the fruit through. Discard the seeds.
- Add the lemon juice, vanilla paste, and honey to the puree. Stir well and taste. Add more honey if needed.
- Store this blackberry base in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to five days until ready to use.*
- To serve, combine in a pitcher with sparkling water (amount depends on how strong you want the blackberry flavor) or allow each person to add puree to their ice filled glass and they can top with sparkling water.