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Nature Pop1

Great ideas for those batches of jelly that refuse to set.

Last summer, for some reason a number of my jelly recipes did not set. I was a bit disappointed as I normally give these colorful little jars of ‘sunshine’ away during the winter holidays and now here I was with over a hundred jars of what I considered ‘failed’ batches of jelly. Instead of jellies, I had two batches of chokecherry syrup (one from earlier berries and one from later berries), two batches of rosehip syrup (one sweetened and one unsweetened), apple syrup and highbush cranberry syrup. (My other jams and jellies did just fine.) Nature PopI put the syrups away and did not even bother to label them. I wondered how on earth I was going to use up all of this syrup? Then I remembered visiting a jam shop on the way to Kelowna, British Columbia and all of the fruit syrups they had to offer. Of course, FRUIT SYRUPS! These could be served over pancakes and waffles! I could even pretend that I meant to make a syrup rather than a jelly.

Recently I have found a fun and refreshing way to use my fruit syrups. I call it ‘Nature Pop’ and it is based on the Italian Soda beverage. I use about three-to-four tablespoons of syrup in a large glass and fill the rest with soda water. Mix it up and you have a cold, fizzy, fruity beverage. You can also use tonic water instead and add an ounce of flavored vodka for a bit of a kick. Throw in a slice of lemon or orange, or a bit of frozen fruit to keep your drink cool and top with a cocktail umbrella (you can get those at the dollar store or some grocery stores) and you’ve got yourself a festive cocktail. I also mix some syrup into my fruit salads and recently poured a little over my Decadent Chocolate Cake just before serving. Nature Pop2We have been enjoying some very hot late summer temperatures here in central Alberta and I have ‘discovered’ Nature Pop just in time! Cheers everyone!