Friday nights could be a treat in my house growing up. Once a month or so, my parents would hire a responsible teenager from the neighborhood to babysit so they could go out with other like-minded adults. Our bribery was a Totino’s pizza and root beer floats and TV. Confession: I still buy the occasional Totino’s for the flavor memories. And I still enjoy the occasional root beer float.
So on a recent Friday night, while watching a movie with someone of the under-10 set, I got a hankering for a float of some sort. I spied home-made blackberry syrup in my fridge and some peach frozen yogurt in the freezer. And of course I’ve always got seltzer around. There really is nothing to this — as long as you’ve made the syrup ahead of time!
One large-ish scoop peach frozen yogurt or ice cream
1 – 2 tablespoons blackberry syrup (recipe follows)
Plop a healthy scoop of your desired frozen delight in a medium-sized glass.
Drizzle with the blackberry syrup.
Add the seltzer … C A R E F U L L Y … it’s gonna foam like crazy!
Add your fat straw and stir gently. Guzzle to your heart’s content!
Note: SOMEONE happened to buy Harris-Teeter-branded fat-free peach frozen yogurt. I am not usually a fan of fat-free, since the fat usually gets replaced with more sweeteners and a bunch of gums, but this was actually pretty tasty. Full-on product endorsement? Maybe not, but I was pleasantly surprised by the texture – creamy and non-icy. I’d buy it again.
Blackberries, at least a cup or so
Star anise, optional
Cinnamon stick, optional
3 whole cloves, optional
Rinse your blackberries and toss into a non-reactive pan (no need to drain). Add water to cover. Add the whole spices, if using. Simmer gently until the blackberries are mush. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Use a spatula to gently press liquid through — you’ll get a little cloudiness in your syrup but it’s worth it for the flavor!
Rinse your pan. Or dirty a fresh one — your call.
Rinse the star anise and cinnamon (if using) and put them into the clean pan. Discard the cloves and other solids. MEASURE the liquid and put into the pan. Measure an equal amount by volume of sugar and add to the pan. That means, if you had 2 cups of liquid, add 2 cups of sugar
Bring the sugared solution to a gentle boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Boil gently for 1 to 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Discard the star anise and cinnamon. Store covered in the refrigerator. Excellent in cocktails or to make your own blackberry soda!
2 tablespoons blackberry syrup
6 ounces seltzer
Put the ice in an appropriate-sized glass. Add the syrup. Pour the seltzer over. Stir gently. Consume with gusto!