Fizzy Blueberry Meyer Lemonade

by on May 27, 2012

I’m a berry boy. I love my berries. Unfortunately, Southern California doesn’t so much, or at least so I thought.

Strawberries being the huge exception (they are amazing down here), I always thought that growing berries in our garden would be  a futile task. I’m talking blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries. They were so easy for us to grow on the ranch in Oregon. It seemed like all we had to do was plant them and forget about it until we were ready for a mid-day treat.

Oh how the horses would stretch and strain to try and reach the raspberry vines. Lips stretching like little kids fingers reaching into the cookie jar high on the counter. The fence between the raspberries and horse had to be double high and narrow enough between rails that they couldn’t slide the heads through to reach our precious red fruit.

8 years ago when we were initially planning our garden here in Southern California we made a list of plants we loved. Next we grudgingly  crossed out the ones which wouldn’t grow well in our zone, then started designing the garden based on the remaining plants. All but the strawberries were crossed off the berry list. Silly us.

Little did we know that many of them can grow quite well down here. Our ignorance was partly due to some varieties which have been developed or shown to do well in our milder climate, and part because we didn’t do enough research.

But a garden in never finished. It is always evolving and changing and a berry boy is now quite happy with his Southern California garden.

We’ve been able to add 4 blueberry bushes (3 diff. varieties to see which does best), a couple raspberry vines and a blackberry vine to add to our strawberries as our berry plant inventory.

The blueberries went in first. After a year of planting, adjusting and growing, we’ve started to see a nice production off of them. Well, almost. We see a lot of growth and green berries, but our mockingbirds have discovered their berry goodness. At this point our teenager plants can’t produce more than the #%^%@-ing mockingbirds can eat, so we’ve only been able to eat a handful. Sigh.

The raspberries and blackberries have replaced a set of vines we took out this spring after its trellis broke. The jasmine was nice, but the berries are bad-ass. There is nothing like a home grown raspberry and they have been “goin’ gorilla” as the two baby vines are giving us almost a cup worth every other day. The blackberries are growing and fruiting well, but our blackies have yet to hit their season.

To celebrate our berry delight, and a friend’s cookbook, here is an adapted recipe from Sara Kate’s new cookbook, Good Food to Share.

Sara Kate’s gorgeous cookbook is filled with beautiful recipes full of fresh, seasonal produce and ingredients. It’s hard not to be inspired to cook, share and feed your family and friends when flipping through each thoughtful page and photograph. Each dish is sure to feed and please a crowd for any occasion and gathering.

So because of her book and love of giving, we’re more thoughtful about sharing our blueberries with the birds. At least on the days they beat us to the berries. A boy still has to have berries of his own.

-Todd & Diane

Fizzy Blueberry Meyer Lemonade

Yield: 1 Drink

Total Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 T fresh Meyer Lemon Juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1-2 T Simple Syrup - 1:1 ratio (to taste - 1 part sugar : 1 part water)
  • 1/4 c Blueberries
  • few dashes Bitters of choice (usually we'll use orange bitters)
  • Soda Water
  • Ice
  • Mint for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine lemon juice, simple syrup, and blueberries in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Fill a glass with ice. Add blueberry lemonade. Top with soda water.
  3. Garnish and serve.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Averie @ Averie Cooks May 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm

It’s like a lemon pound cake met a blueberry muffin and became a drink. I love it! Great idea and I could go for this right about now! I adore blue and blackberries but you’re right, here in SoCal strawberries are the most common, indeed.

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2 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 28, 2012 at 4:12 am

So fun! And so delicious looking!

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3 Priyanka May 28, 2012 at 6:09 am

Wow the drinks look so refreshing. Perfect for the season

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4 Lizthechef May 28, 2012 at 7:21 am

Try netting your berries to protect them from the birdies…Lovely drink!

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5 White on Rice Couple May 28, 2012 at 8:42 am

We thought about it but it takes away from the aesthetics of the garden. It’s ok, they can have some. The garden isn’t just for us, but for them as well.

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6 Sarah from 20something cupcakes June 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

This is why I love you two!

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7 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 28, 2012 at 7:53 am

Now this is my idea of a perfect summer cocktail! What a wonderful, refreshing drink to toast to this summer.

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8 baker in disguise May 28, 2012 at 8:13 am

it all looks soooo sooo refreshing!!! summer is at is peak here in India.. and this looks just what I need!!

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9 Jennifer May 28, 2012 at 8:17 am

I absolutely love blueberries, and I get so excited when they come into season. I think this drink looks delicious, and I’m adding it to my list.

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10 Karen Milling May 28, 2012 at 8:27 am

I wish we could grow blueberries in New Mexico. I’ll bet there are places here where they would do great, but ABQ is not one of them. We rock the chiles though and that’s something!

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11 White on Rice Couple May 28, 2012 at 8:44 am

You rock the chiles, indeed! We have quite a few that do well here, but nothing like how you are able to grow them.

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12 Grishma @ZaikaZabardast May 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

Fabulous and refreshing like always!

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13 Deanna May 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

My fingers are crossed the birds don’t figure out we have blueberries. Or that they continue to think they’re poisonous. Did you know they’ve made cherry trees that grow in our zone? Its kind of awesome. Almost as awesome as this drink. Which I will definitely be making as soon as I get off work.

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14 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel May 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm

What a treat to have your own berries in such a variety! I’ll have to create my own berry garden some year!

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15 Kate {Something Fabulous} May 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Oh yum, this looks so delicious and refreshing! x

Kate {Something Fabulous}
http://thesomethingfabulous.blogspot.com

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16 terri May 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm

oooh, berries! are your blackberries of the thornless variety? if not, be careful–the thorns can be nasty. i have the scars to prove it :)

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17 White on Rice Couple May 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm

They are the thornless variety. We were going back and forth on if we should do a third raspberry (they are thornless too) or add a blackberry (was hesitant due to the thorn-age), but once we saw this variety was thornless, the blackies came home with us too.

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18 Caroline @ chocolate & carrots May 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Mmm….this looks so refreshing! :D

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19 thyme (Sarah) May 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Such a beautiful drink! I’ve never thought to grow berries on our back yard. I might just try next season.

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20 Katie May 28, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I was going to suggest netting your blueberries, which we used to do, but agree with your earlier comment about the garden aesthetics. Also, I always hated having to get the nets on and off to go picking. We’ve just planted a couple of strawberry plants on our tiny balcony in Stockholm and am hoping they’ll take and we’ll get some berries. Otherwise, am looking forward to blackberries and raspberries galore (both thorny, so a bucket full is a small victory) when I’m back home in BC for a summer visit. The drink looks great, can’t wait to try it out!

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21 Cate May 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

I have all the ingredients in the fridge and was actually wondering what to do with the blueberries. yay! Can’t wait to try this. And I’ll have to check out Sara Kate’s new book… I’ve read great reviews.

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22 chinmayie @ love food eat May 29, 2012 at 1:14 am

What a gorgeous color! Just what I need right now…

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23 Diana May 29, 2012 at 8:50 am

This is my first year w/blueberries. Bought some 30 year old bushes last year and they are just covered in tiny green fruit. One of the gardening pros out here says she swirls some colored tuille around her bushes. She says that for some reason it freaks the birds out and they leave the berries alone. It looks more artistic than just putting up a bird netting structure. I may try it if they go after my blueberries instead of some of the other berry bushes I have planted for them.

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24 Vijitha May 29, 2012 at 11:12 am

Such a refreshing drink and I love the look of blueberries speckles in the glad. A perfect drink to fix for the coming hot season.

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25 Broderick May 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Love the story and the recipe, I can’t be the only one who is thinking about sneaking in a little gin into the glass

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26 White on Rice Couple May 31, 2012 at 9:24 am

I had thought the exact same thing as I was making them the first time, but we decided to keep them virgin. At least for the post. Great minds Broderick! Great minds!

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27 Cheese with Noodles May 31, 2012 at 12:34 am

Oh, yum yum yum! This looks great. Can you taste the blueberries very much? Next time I get my hands on blueberries I know what I will be making!

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28 Swathi May 31, 2012 at 9:17 am

This looks perfect, my little one like strawberry, I can make for her without soda. thanks.

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29 Kate June 1, 2012 at 11:23 am

What type of blueberries are they?

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30 White on Rice Couple June 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm

We have Misty Early Season, Bountiful Blues, and Jewel Blueberries. They all are excellent (when we actually find some before the birds), but each has a slight different flavor, size, and fruiting period.

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31 betty June 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm

There is a new variety (well…not really new this year but new last year!) of blueberries called PINK LEMONADE! I just bought them several weeks ago …won’t bear fruit yet but maybe in 2 years! They are supposed to bear dark pink berries when ripe!

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32 Erin Motz June 9, 2012 at 11:33 am

This is exactly what I want on this beautiful, sunny Saturday! Thanks for sharing – meyer lemon and berry is one of the best combos.

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33 Jenny @ BAKE June 15, 2012 at 4:29 am

I can’t wait to have a garden so I can grown my own berries, yours look so lovely! Hope you get a bumper crop!

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34 anh July 5, 2012 at 6:48 am

I love your blogs! May I ask what variety of blueberry bush did you plant? Thank you!

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35 White on Rice Couple July 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

Thanks Anh! We are growing the Bountiful Blue, Misty Early Season, and the Jewel varieties.

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36 Chelsea January 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm

So glad I wandered back into your archives this afternoon… this reminded me of home! I’m a recent transplant from Oregon to Southern California, and I, too, have considered myself in a berry desert. I’m pleased to know blueberry are not out of the question. I miss the two laden soldiers we had to leave behind when we moved at the end of the summer.

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37 Molly March 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I just discovered your blog today on a trail from The Perfect Pantry. I cook and garden in northern IL and we have bumper crops of black and red rasberries in our small backyard. And as our bushes are thorny, we collect them free, but not easy. I agree with you that netting hardly seems fair to the birds, but our cat has discovered this area of the garden to be a lure for even more violent purposes! We have had to limit his access to the yard during berry season to avoid a heavy toll on our local Robin population. After all, they were here long before the cat arrived, returning every season to nest in our trees.
A few weeks ago, I reached into the freezer for a a couple of quarts of last summer’s fruit and made a new batch of rasberry jam, removing the seeds first. I keep simple syrup on hand and think I will make a batch of coulis or puree (without all the sugar in jam recipes) to fuel this coctail. It really will be a treat to sip it, while looking out at several inches of new snow. As we envy your citrus, we know we are lucky to have the daily handfuls of new berries that come in (in their season). As with our batches of homegrown grape jelly, we are rationing our frozen berries through the winter and looking forward to a new crop when summer finally arrives.

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38 White on Rice Couple March 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm

That is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing. You are a lucky girl with all those berries. Completely jealous! :)

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