This mulberry syrup recipe is perfect for using up all your late-spring berries. It has a ruby-red color and a vibrant flavor. It’s delicious, drizzled over yogurt or swirled into your favorite cocktail.
What is it?
Mulberries are the long, dark purple berry of the mulberry (Morus spp.) tree. They’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.
Mulberry season is brief, lasting only a few weeks during late spring. You may be able to find the berries at farmers' markets and specialty grocers if you don't grow them yourself. Look for these items during late spring or early summer.
Mulberry syrup is the sweet syrup made by cooking fresh mulberries with sugar and water. It has a sweet, delicate quality and a dark purple color. Like cherry cordial, the syrup is concentrated, so a little goes a long way.
Why this recipe works
- Making mulberry syrup is easy. You only need a single pan and a fine-mesh strainer.
- It’s a great way to use up large amounts of berries so they don’t go to waste.
- Mulberries are packed with polyphenols. They also provide vitamins C and K, plus minerals such as potassium and iron.
- Mulberries are fairly low in acid compared to other berries. So adding a little vinegar helps amplify their flavor.
- Mulberry syrup is delicious, with a berry-like sweetness mellowed by notes of black tea.
As for any fruit syrup, the ingredients for mulberry syrup are simple and straightforward. You’ll need mulberries, sugar, and water. In addition, you can also add various herbs or spices for flavor.
- Mulberries are the foundation of this syrup. They give the syrup its flavor and deep, rich purple color.
- Sugar gives the syrup its sweetness and its body. Granulated sugar works best, but you can substitute minimally processed cane sugar such as rapadura or panela.
- Herbs and spices can enhance homemade mulberry syrup. Try vanilla bean, coriander, orange peel, or mint. These additions can add dimension and interest.
- Red wine vinegar brings a little bit of acid to the recipe,
This recipe uses Cabernet Port Vinegar
This recipe uses Cabernet Port Vinegar from Acid League - it has the robust flavor of red wine vinegar with notes of chocolate, cherry, and dried fruit. It's also an unfiltered, raw vinegar for a boost of nutrition.
How to Make Mulberry Syrup
There are three basic steps to making mulberry syrup. The first is to cook the ingredients together to form the syrup. Next, you’ll strain it, and finally, you’ll transfer it to a bottle to store the syrup. It will keep for about a month.
- Break up the berries in a food processor or by hand with a knife and cutting board. It will be easier to extract their juice.
- Stew all the ingredients together in your saucepan. You’ll want to continue cooking the mulberries until they break down and begin to lose their form.
- Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids.
- Store the syrup in a tightly-sealed bottle in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Making mulberry syrup only requires a few steps and one saucepan. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Select the best quality berries. Berries that are mushy, moldy, or close to spoiled will negatively impact the flavor of your syrup.
- Start with cold water. This gives you more time to extract all the flavor from the berries and any spices you add to the pot.
- Use the whole berry, including the stem. Since you’ll strain the syrup, there’s no need to separate the stems from the fruit.
- Mulberry juice stains, so wear gloves if you’re concerned.
- Mash the berries as they cook to help them break down, and your syrup will have better flavor.
- Remember to add vinegar. It adds a hint of acidity to the syrup. This amplifies the mulberry flavor.
How to Use Mulberry Syrup
I love to swirl mulberry syrup into homemade yogurt for breakfast. You can also drizzle it over vanilla ice cream, too.
In Southwest Asia, mulberry syrup is mixed with water and ice for a simple summer drink. It also tastes delicious stirred into iced tea. Or, consider adding a few tablespoons of mulberry syrup to your favorite cocktail instead of simple syrup.
Variations + Substitutions
Substitute an equal amount of minimally processed whole cane sugar for the granulated sugar. You can also use coconut sugar and palm sugar.
Use a mix of berries, such as mulberries, strawberries, and raspberries.
Add a split vanilla bean to the saucepan along with the sugar, mulberries, and water.
A tablespoon or two of cacao nibs can bring out the flavor of the berries, too. Add the cacao to the saucepan at the same time that you add the berries, sugar, and water.
Skip the red wine vinegar and add a tablespoon of lemon juice instead.
Other Spring Fruit Recipes You’ll Love
How long does it keep?
Store mulberry syrup in a tightly sealed bottle in the fridge for about 1 month.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, you can freeze mulberry syrup. Freeze it in a tightly sealed container, allowing at least 2 inches of head space, for up to 6 months.
Can I use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar?
No, I don’t recommend it. Granulated sugar has a clean sweetness that allows the flavor of mulberries to come through. Honey and maple syrup are both strong-tasting sweeteners that will mask the flavor of the mulberries.
The liquid ratio will change if you use a liquid sweetener instead of a dry one, such as sugar. Remember, you’re using very little of the syrup when you prepare a dish or a drink.