With zero prep needed, this Easy Blackberry Syrup without pectin is perfect for coffee, pancakes, ice cream, mocktails, and anything else you decide to slather it on! It takes just 10 minutes to make, and can be prepared with fresh or frozen blackberries at any time of year.
Why this recipe is great
Preserve Seasonal Produce: since blackberries are in season during July and August, there's not a lot of time to enjoy the many brambles in bloom.
My grandpa used to make them into wines and cordials as well as the more common pies, jellies, and jams, though blackberry crumble is a personal favorite. Learning how to make blackberry syrup is perfect for literally preserving their fresh flavor.
Watch for Purple Hands!: blackberries are also well-known for their staining ability, and like turmeric powder, they've long-been used as a way of dyeing clothes in bright colors (in this case purple). So be careful when handling the berries, and consider having any little ones wear gloves, as they can really stain your hands if you keep eating or picking them for awhile.
Long-Lasting: this blackberry simple syrup recipe makes just over 1 cup of syrup plus some seed-filled blackberry jam that would be great slathered over waffles or toast with a smear of cream cheese (as long as you like the seeded texture), and keeps for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Easy to Make & Batch: with just 3 ingredients and ten minutes, making this blackberry drink syrup couldn't get much simpler. It's also very easy to make a thicker version for pancakes and waffles, and even freeze the seedless blackberry syrup for ice cream.
Blackberries: you can use fresh or frozen blackberries (I used some we picked on my birthday last summer!), but make sure that they're clean before adding them to the water. These thorny blackberry bushes grow all over the DC area, where we can pick fresh blackberries into late August.
I usually go to a pick-your-own and freeze a few pounds of berries at the end of the season, when they're cheapest and farms just want to move onto the next crop. Unlike raspberries, most blackberries don't get very sweet, making them a prime candidate for turning into fruit syrups!
Sugar: you can really use any granulated sweetener that's a 1-to-1 swap for white cane sugar, but here I use an allulose & monk fruit blend that acts the same as cane sugar, but mkaing it possible to make blackberry syrup without lemon juice.
Water: this helps to make this homemade blackberry cocktail syrup liquid enough to pour.
How to make blackberry syrup: step-by-step instructions
Step 1. Put the sugar and water into a small pot over medium-low heat, and stir everything constantly with a silicone spatula until the sweetener has dissolved (less than a minute).
Step 2. Then add the blackberries and let everything heat for a minute. Once the berries have warmed, carefully use a potato masher to completely pulverize the berries into the sugar mixture, until it makes a thin puree. If using fresh berries, you may want to add an extra ¼ Cup water to thin out the mixture further. Set a timer for 7 more minutes of simmering on low, and turn off the heat when the timer goes off.
Step 3. Immediately move the pot off the heat to a cool burner and let it cool for 30 minutes. Do not cover it; the slight cooling time also lets more of the water evaporate out.
Step 4. Once cooled, strain your blackberry syrup through a tea strainer to get out the seeds and pulp, then pour it into a glass jar. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 6 months. The seeds and thicker pulp left in the strainer actually make for a delicious topping for pancakes or a thin jam on their own, and will keep for up to a week in the fridge (or 6 months in the freezer).
Substitutions & Variations
Sweetener: while you can use almost any granulated sweetener in this recipe, I've made it in years past with regular sugar and more recently with allulose-monk fruit sweetener, a sugar-free FDA-approved sweetener that's a direct swap for sugar. But other great sweetener options include honey, brown sugar, coconut sugar, or even erythritol for a blackberry syrup without sugar.
- Blackberry Ginger Syrup - to make an even brighter fresh blackberry syrup without seeds, try adding ½ tablespoon of fresh minced ginger to the mixture once you've mashed the berries. When you filter out the seeds it will also filter out the ginger, but the sharp freshness will remain.
- Blackberry Vanilla Syrup - you can create a more complex blackberry syrup for drinks by adding either one whole split vanilla pod, the vanilla seeds from one pod, or ¼ teaspoon vanilla paste to the infusion when you take it off the heat to steep. Alternately, adding ½ teaspoon high-quality vanilla extract right after filtering out the seeds would make a delicious vanilla blackberry syrup.
- Blackberry Lavender Syrup: a nearby cafe makes this fantastic blackberry syrup for coffee by adding a lavender undertone. For a homemade lavender blackberry syrup, try adding 2-3 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers to the syrup mixture once you've mashed the berries.
- Blackberry Cream - mix equal parts heavy cream and thicker blackberry syrup for a buttery blackberry milk syrup that stays good in the fridge for up to 5 days if kept airtight. I've only tried this with high quality organic dairy cream, and it tastes even better when you've made the blackberry syrup with honey or other flavors.
See the basil version of this recipe on my website!
Storage & Freezing
Store any unused fresh blackberries in the freezer for 1 year+. To keep them in good shape, start by washing them carefully, soaking them in a 5% vinegar mixture if you're worried about bugs, and then freezing them in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring them to a large air-tight container for long-term storage.
Fresh blackberry simple syrup or the blackberry pancake syrup version will both stay good in the fridge for up to 7 days, but will stay good frozen for 6+ months without losing any flavor (if stored in an air-tight bottle). For low histamine readers, freezer storage is recommended after a few hours cooling air-tight in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you make blackberry syrup sugar-free, like using allulose or erythritol, it can be a healthy option, especially if compared to pancake syrup. It will also retain all the healthy antioxidant properties of fresh blackberries, adding to the benefits.
Blackberry syrup tastes like biting into a less tart and less bitter fresh blackberry, with a sweeter and overall more balanced flavor.
Yes, you can freeze blackberry syrup for up to 6 months, or even a year if very well-sealed.
Sonic uses a commercial blackberry syrup for their slushes. But this sugar-free blackberry syrup recipe can help you recreate that treat at home, with a small portion of the calories.
Expert notes & tips
Fresh or Frozen Blackberries?: for this recipe I used blackberries we picked on my birthday last summer, frozen for about a year at that point, and it still tastes as good as ever.
So while you can use either version in this recipe, consider using organic berries if buying frozen, to limit pesticide exposure. If you'r eusing fresh berries and the mixture is too thick, try adding an extra ¼ cup of water.
How to Thicken: for more thick blackberry syrup for pancakes or waffles, you'll need to use twice as much fruit and an extra ¼ cup of water (or ½ cup if using fresh blackberries for syrup).
This will add more natural fruit pectin to the mixture and decrease the concentrated sweetness. Just be sure to give it a couple of hours in the fridge to fully thicken up before using.
No Potato Masher?: if you don't have a (clean) potato masher on hand, you can also use a large fork to press the berries against the side of the pot, one-by-one. This takes a bit longer, but it gets the job done.
Other Easy Simple Syrups
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
What to do with blackberry syrup
- Use it to soak a freshly-made cake
- Flavor your favorite mousse or custard
- Mix some into cream that you drizzle onto fruit salad
- Drizzle it with your favorite fresh fruit onto some vanilla flax pudding
- Thin some out with selzer water to create a homemade blackberry soda
- Add 2 teaspoons with one teaspoon of lavender syrup to your morning latte
As always, if you like the recipe, I really appreciate a 5-star review or comment!
Easy Blackberry Simple Syrup (10 Minutes)
- 1 Cup blackberries fresh or frozen
- ¾ Cup sugar or other granulated sweetener
- ¾ Cup water
- Put the sugar and water into a small pot over medium-low heat, and stir everything constantly with a silicone spatula until the sweetener has dissolved (less than a minute).
- Then add the blackberries and let everything heat for a minute. Once the berries have warmed, carefully use a potato masher to completely pulverize the berries into the sugar mixture, until it makes a thin puree. If using fresh berries, you may want to add an extra ¼ Cup water to thin out the mixture further. Set a timer for 7 more minutes of simmering on low, and turn off the heat when the timer goes off.
- Immediately move the pot off the heat to a cool burner and let it cool for 30 minutes. Do not cover it; the slight cooling time also lets more of the water evaporate out.
- Once cooled, strain your blackberry syrup through a tea strainer to get out the seeds and pulp, then pour it into a glass jar. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 6 months. The seeds and thicker pulp left in the strainer actually make for a delicious topping for pancakes or a thin jam on their own, and will keep for up to a week in the fridge (or 6 months in the freezer).