Flavored simple syrups, like the ones described in this article by Addie Broyles in the Austin American Statesmen, are the key to creating complex and unique gelatin molds from scratch. Here I combined homemade basil simple syrup, 100% blueberry juice, blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, water, club soda, and vodka. The resulting taste was like summer in gelatinous form – tart, sweet, and herbalicious.
Recipe for 3.5 cup mold
- 2 packets gelatin
- ½ cup water (for blooming*)
- ¾ water (for syrup)
- ½ cup sugar (or to taste)
- Juice of one lemon (approx. ¼ cup) with zest reserved
- ½ cup 100% blueberry juice
- 6 large basil leaves
- ¾ cup vodka
- ½ cup club soda
- ½ cup blueberries
Put ½ cup of water in a small bowl and sprinkle the 2 packets of gelatin on top of the water. Set bowl aside. (*This is called “blooming.” Blooming allows gelatin to absorb water and thus dissolve easily when added to hot water.)
Put water, blueberry juice, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a low boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add lemon zest and basil leaves. Let stew for 10-minutes. Strain the lemon/basil syrup, and return to saucepan. Bring to boil, remove from heat, and add the bloomed gelatin. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in cold vodka and club soda.
Put mixture in refrigerator (or freezer) until thickened to a soft gel consistency. It should be easy to stir but thick enough to suspend the blueberries. Stir in berries and spoon mixture into mold(s). Put in refrigerator until set, at least 4 hours.
My lovely friends enjoyed this tart and boozy mold.