There is something utterly impossible to portray, so I will go without describing it. But I will go on to depict myself eating it, well gnawing on it to be exact. I recall sitting under the haven of the porch on a summer’s day. I thought I would be duplicitous and enjoy my day early enough so the heat wouldn’t catch up with me. But alas, the sun beat me every time. As I sat there, confined to the porch, my paw-paw would bring my saving grace. There, in his strong yet gentle hands, were two tall sticks of sugar cane. He would take a knife out of his pocket and carefully strip away the rough stalk and what would be left were the sweet, white insides. And there I would sit, gnawing on the sugar cane and spitting out the fibrous insides when I was finished. I never said I was a lady back then, but I did feel like Lady Liberty waving my scepter to the heat as if I was the one having the last laugh. Ha Ha Ha Ha!
This recipe uses a copious amount of raw cane sugar, which I could put on just about anything. That sweet, intense saccharine flavor is the basis to this drink. You might have thought it would be the blackberry juice or the limes, but it’s the earthly undertones of this cane sugar that will leave you with a smile and an empty glass.
Recipe: Serves 8: Adapted from Martha Hall Foose’s Screen Doors and Sweet Tea
4 cups of fresh or thawed, frozen blackberries
6 limes, juiced (zest 1 of the limes before juicing it)
1 cup of water
1 cup of raw cane sugar
3 cups of ginger ale
In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and the zest of 1 lime on medium-low heat. Make sure all of the sugar has dissolved while bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off heat and cool. Chill until needed.
In a medium sized bowl, mash the blackberries with a potato masher very carefully. Transfer the mash to a sieve. Reserve the blackberry juice and discard the blackberry seeds and pulp.
In a pitcher, combine the syrup, blackberry juice, lime juice and ginger ale. Serve in glasses filled with ice.