Wonderberry aka sunberry have started to take over my garden from no-where. As the shrub bears lots of fruits, we decided to make wonderberry juice with the fruit. This purple lemonade is so delicious and with it’s elegant color, looks like the drink from a Disney story or a halloween drink.
The berries are known by many names like wonderberry and sunberry. In Tamil, they call it ‘Manathakkali’. My mother-in law said, it is called ‘Manithakkali’ in Malayalam. The fruit is always confused with the similar looking wild garden huckleberry but wonderberry is said to be far superior than garden huckleberry.
I have never seen wonderberries or even knew such a plant or fruit even existed until they started growing in my garden. I never planted a wonderberry plant or seed in the garden. So I thought it to be a useless, unwanted wild shrub and had almost decided to dispose it from the garden.
Then one day an aunt from the neighbour-hood visited me. She saw the plant and told me that it’s a kind of spinach which bears black or red colored berries. She also told some of the health benefits of the leaves and fruit. So I decided to keep the plant. The next day another friend of mine told the berries are good for mouth ulcers and kids love them a lot. So again I decided to wait for the fruit to show up.
Almost after 2 months the plant started producing green round berries which my husband’s friend said can be made into stir-fries. I never tried that but that’s on my to-try list. I was waiting for the fruit to ripen. And when they did, I tasted with the utmost enthusiasm just to know that they are not sweet. Although the wonderberry doesn’t have any strong flavors, it had a unique taste that made me savour more. To my least expectation, my son also liked the berries a lot.
The seeds started spreading faster and my garden is now full of wonderberry seedlings. Since I got a lot of them, I decided to give them a make-over and preserve it as syrup. The syrup is violet in color, but when mixed with lemon juice makes a stunning and attractive purple colored lemonade. And today I am sharing with you the naturally purple lemonade recipe, Wonderberry Juice.
Wonderberry Juice (Purple Lemonade)
- ½ cup Wonderberry
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- ¼ cup Water
- ¼ cup Wonderberry syrup
- 2 cups of Water
- 1.5 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- To make the syrup, mix the berries and sugar in a sauce pan. Cook on low heat with stirring until all berries are well mashed.
- Add ¼ cup water and bring to a boil. Simmer and let it boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and cool down completely. The syrup is ready. You can store this syrup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
- To make the lemonade, mix the cool syrup with water, sugar and lemon juice. Stir well to combine.
- Serve the lemonade and enjoy. To make a cool lemonade, add some crushed ice into the drink.
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