Tuesday, August 21, 2012



My new favorite discovery is aronia. Aronia, you ask? I was intrigued by a basket of little black berries at last week's farmer's market. They are more often called chokeberries because eaten out of hand they're extremely astringent. In fact, they feel like a mouthful of sand. I tried them, trust me. However, once cooked or baked they supposedly take on the flavor of cherries... I was told by a local farmer. I couldn't resist, and brought two baskets. Untitled
I plucked them from their stems, covered them with water and cooked them until soft. 30 minutes or so. Then, I put them through a food mill. To this juice, I added several cups of cane sugar and let it come to a rolling boil. This gave me a lovely jar of deep, dark syrup that I brought over to the barn for our dinner party.  I also gathered a bottle of vodka and club soda thinking they might mix well together.

When guests arrived with a bottle of champagne, out came the aronia syrup. Into a glass it went and was topped with bubbly. Oh my, was that tasty and gorgeous. It looked like a blazing sunset caught in a glass! Next came the vodka and soda, and with Rebecca's addition of fresh lemon juice and zest- an overnight sensation was born. I have no idea what to call this gorgeous rosy hued concoction, but it sure is delicious! Look for chokeberries at northeastern farmer's markets now while the season lasts. 
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  1. Yum! They also make a terrific jam - the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

    1. I bet it's delicious! I'm hoping for more at this week's market.

  2. Oh how lovely that looks... here's to trying something new. Cheers!

  3. I have chokecherries planted near our house and I love to make syrup from them. Terrific on pancakes or waffles spread with sour cream first and then drizzle syrup over top. Your drink looks lovely!

  4. I am having a few friends over this weekend, and I think your lovely drink is going to make an appearance, as well. I'm thinking of calling it Maya's Aronia Barn Swallow. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Thank you for this - I had no idea that a person could cook these into goodness. My childhood memory of 'choke' cherries was exactly the choke part!

  6. Mmmm... that syrup was divine! We must have an evening JUST like that again soon!!!! xoxoxoxo

  7. Wow...it looks delicious!
    Never tried it!
    ...and it seems you had lot of fun, too!!