It’s all over the news, blueberry picking time is near, and I’ve been thinking about what recipes to create from my soon to be hand-picked supply.  Picking blueberries remind me of Saturdays, in the summer months of my youth. My family would leave town for the afternoon and travel to the countryside where the cool breeze blew in my face from the car window as the car reared off the paved road. The dusty, bumpy, homemade road made from a path, opened up and revealed my cousin’s house.  A white house with a tin grey roof, and a spacious front porch, shaded by an oak tree. The house was surrounded by a landscape of  scuppernong grape vines, apple, pear, plum, fig trees, and a blueberry patch.  In the month of June, we would pick blueberries. Picking and eating them was the fun part, but making sure to save plenty to fill the essential bucket to take home.  Mama used the blueberries to include in her recipes for making cobblers, jam and, pancakes. She would freeze a batch for later use when the season was long gone.  After picking the perfectly ripe blueberries from the tree and collecting the unbruised ones that had fallen onto the ground, we would retire to the front porch. It was the perfect setting, sitting there on the porch, feeling  a sudden cool breeze coming from the large oak tree, and the wind brushing against my skin-a welcome relief from the heat. While sitting there we were treated to glass of homemade lemonade in a mason jar. I would drop a few blueberries into my glass of lemonade, to chill. When I bit into the sweet berry the cool burst of blueberry flavor interrupt for a moment the tangy taste of refreshing lemons. I’m still a fan of blueberry picking. These days I take my road trip to a local blueberry farm.  When I ‘m gathering berries from a  pick your own farm, it evokes pleasant memories of visiting in the countryside. I pretty much use the blueberries to make recipes my Mama created. I make pancakes, muffins, jam and my homemade blueberry lemonade. Then I pondered, there is a good reason to pour blueberries in my lemonade, so why not my cocktail. Now I create my blueberry lemonade and  blueberry breeze cocktail. Try them out and let me know what memories they invoke with you.

 

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1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 pint blueberries
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups water
1 tablespoon wildflower honey

Start by making blueberry simple syrup: combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over high heat.  Stir until sugar dissolve, add blueberries.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Use a fine mesh strainer and strain into a pitcher (do not crush berries, so mixture will not turn cloudy). Cool.
Add lemon juice, water and honey to simple syrup and stir well. Chill

 

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1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce cointreau
3 ounces blueberry lemonade
1 dash orange bitters

In a cocktail shaker add ice, bourbon, cointreau, lemonade, and orange bitters. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with blueberries, candied ginger,and mango.