In case the scorching temps haven’t given it away, Summer is in full swing. July, for me at least, is for foraging wild black raspberries aka black caps (not blackberries, they are different). Every year, I go out and brave: the Sun, mosquitoes, black flies and prickers to pick the berries that grow wild all over the place. This was a GREAT year for them! I had a huge bumper crop. I do all kinds of stuff with them that is NOT jelly or jam. If I try to make any of that, it turns into something I could patch the potholes with. I have also tried to make ice cream and have decided to just leave that one to Perry’s.
Black caps are very seedy. Before making them into anything, they need to be cooked down. Give them a good rinse then into the pan they go with a tiny bit of sugar (you can add more if you really like things sweet), and maybe 1/2 cup of water. Set them on low. Once the water heats up a bit, you can stir them around. I generally simmer them down for at least an hour sometimes more. Stir and smash them around every now and again. They will cook down into a soupy liquid with a ton of those little seeds.
It looks like this when it’s ready. Now it is time to strain the seeds etc out. Take cheese cloth and put it in a strainer with a bowl underneath. Pour your cooked down black caps into the cheesecloth, and let the juice strain for a few hours. After that, you can squeeze the rest of the juice out.
Once the juice is strained out, it’s time to make a nice Summer cocktail:
1 Bottle of Prosecco/Champagne/Sparkling Wine
4 drops of wild black raspberry juice
The Carbucks Cocktail
Note: The popular cocktail like this is called a Kir Royale and is made with Champagne and Cassis (which is black raspberry liquor, you can get it at the liquor store)