Do you have a mulberry tree in your backyard? Does one of your friends? I know, I know, it’s a total pain to pick them, right? Well.. not! So, do you know the shaking the tree trick? No, this is not pick berries while listening to Peter Gabriel, you actually shake the tree! Place a clean sheet below the tree, and shake the branches. The ripe ones fall off and the others hang on ’til next time.
Now, what to do with the berries? Wash them, I find using a strainer inside a bowl works best (a salad spinner, without spinning). Normally they can be washed within 3-4 rinses, don’t worry if there are some little stems on the berries themselves, just remove any larger sticks/debris. Then all you do is place them in a pot on the stove with a touch of water and let them simmer away. Once very soft and liquidy, strain the liquid through cheesecloth and return the now gorgeous jewel-toned, free of seeds and stems, liquid to a simmer. Add sugar, about 2 cups per 4 cups of juice, I know this sounds like a ton, but that is really the quantity and it left the liquid just sweet enough that the kids loved it, but not super saccharine sweet for us. If you’re feeling adventurous, add a broken cinnamon stick or two, a little lemon zest, a few cloves, really anything your heart desires and reduce. Strain once again, then place the remaining liquid into sterilized glass container(s) with a lid and refrigerate.
What you now have is cordial. Mix 1 part cordial with 5 parts soda water and you have a healthy home-made soda for the kids. Or you could get crazy and add a little something like vodka and have an adult libation. Trust me this may have been our first try at this, but it will not be our last. I think there are many fruit cordials in our future. This method also works well with edible flowers like violets or elderberry. I want to thank Julie for giving me the basics, if you want to see her breakdown on amazing flower cordials check it out here!
Happy foraging 🙂