How to Make Your Own Blueberry Syrup

Imagine a blueberry syrup that actually tastes like blueberries, real ripe blueberries, and not just sugar. Now imagine producing it right in your own kitchen and stashing a few bottles of it away for winter. That is what we’re going to do today!

Never mind the laundry piling up (our machine is currently out of order, so that gives me a good excuse) and the sticky floors, blueberry season is short and the berries won’t wait around. Unfortunately, the laundry will.

This syrup is my new favorite way to preserve the sweet dark berries. When a recent tally of my jam pantry showed I still had nineteen varieties of homemade jam to be consumed, I relinquished my plan to make blueberry jam with my market haul and decided to go with syrup. We’re huge pancake fans around here and fresh fruit syrups will not go to waste.

With average pancake syrups such as Aunt Jemima consisting basically of corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring, along with the hefty price tag of pure maple syrup, homemade fruit syrup is an extremely attractive option for topping your buckwheat pancakes – or blueberry sundaes.

A few ways we enjoy blueberry syrup:

  • Stirred into yogurt
  • Poured over ice cream
  • Drizzled over plain cheesecake
  • Spilled over pancakes or waffles
  • Added to milkshakes or smoothies

Ready to make your own blueberry syrup? Let’s do it!

Recipe: Sweet Summertime Blueberry Syrup

  • 5 cups organic blueberries, washed
  • 1  cup water
  • 1 cup Turbinado sugar, firmly packed (or white sugar)
  • 1 organic lemon, whole, washed

1. Using a sharp paring knife, peel three or four strips of lemon peel from the lemon. Skin should be about 1/2 inch wide and not have too much of the bitter pith or white part on it. Then juice the lemon, and set both zest and juice aside.

2. Place blueberries and  water in a medium pot. Don’t worry about stems or leaves; they will be strained out later. Using a potato masher, crush the berries.

3. Over medium-high heat, bring the berries and water to a boil, then lower the temperature to medium-low. Simmer berries for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. They will darken considerably.

4. Remove pot from heat and ladle berries into a fine sieve set over a heat-proof bowl or measuring cup. Using the back of a smaller ladle, press on the berry solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard solids. (Update: or save them if you like. This part is apparently alarming to quite a few commenters! But my solids are full of stems, not worthy of a smoothie.)

5. Return the blueberry juices to the pot, then add the lemon peel (not juice yet) and the sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. (Optional: Add a stick of cinnamon here, if you like).

6. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and stir to combine. Boil another minute or two. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove lemon zest.

7. Using a funnel, pour syrup into clean jars. Top with lid and store in the refrigerator for up to three months, or the freezer for up to nine.

Makes about 3 cups.

Recipe Update!

A lot of you have asked about canning this syrup. Yes, I have done so with success. Brush up on your canning basics before you proceed, then ladle hot syrup into hot, sterilized jars (I use 1/4 pint), wipe rings, and cover with lids. Place in a hot water canning bath and process for 10 minutes.

Would you use fruit syrups at your table?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. Do you know if I could can this in a hot water bath?

    • TheBrdzNBeez says:

      You can hot water bath this. Do not cool it at the end. Place into jars, (leaving 1/4 inch at top) and hot bath for 5-7 minutes.
      Cool overnight, and test for seal. Good for approx 1 year (but better, if eaten within 8 months, or so).

  2. I’m curious if I could use all of the berry by pureeing it in my vitamix. If so, how would that change the amounts needed?
    Thanks so much.

    • Rockin Raven says:

      I was wondering if you could use more natural sweetner’s like honey or something??

    • I think the consistency would change a lot, it would be more like a butter. You’d also have to pick your berries over very well to remove stems. Mine are always full of stems!

  3. When you say “clean” jars, do you mean clean, or sterilized?
    Thanks! This canning/preserving things is scary to me…

  4. There’s a compliment here, in amongst my sad waily wailyness. I made this today and the entire house was suffused with blueberry lemon goodness, I set the pot of syrup aside to cool and decided to tackle the cleanup. That’s when I saw it; my candy thermometer was broken. The glass housing the core was cracked and pieces of glass were missing. Which means they must be in my beautiful aubergine colored syrup! Sad now. I think it would have been lovely and delicious, it smells divine. Your directions were perfect and detailed.

  5. Teresa Knowles says:

    Intead of discardingthe berried once they have been juiced, why not make blueberry butter. It’s tasty and no fruit is wasted. :)

  6. Could you possibly do this with Saskatoon berries as well? or is there a different process with Saskatoons? Thank you!

  7. Could you do this with blackberries? My blueberries are done but my blackberries are going crazy : )

  8. I can’t wait to make this, it looks delicious, and I think will be a perfect addition to yogurt for my son who doesn’t like actual pieces of fruit in it. I’m just confused on the “wash out your pot” part of step 5. What does that mean exactly? I can’t imagine it means to clean it out, because then how would you bring just lemon peel and sugar to a boil? Thanks!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Hi!
    I just found your recipe from a google search. Spent all morning picking berries at a local farm and do not want them to go to waste. This looks divine! Thank you for sharing!

  10. So I made this syrup yesterday and was very happy with!! Easy to make and tasted great. I never did get mine up to 225 degrees, but deemed it good enough to stop cooking with it was about 212. But today when I went to have some it was basically jelly. I had to heat and add a significant amount of water to make it syrup again…what did I do wrong???

    • Nothing, Kelly, that’s my bad. I altered the recipe somewhat after making it again last week. I should have taken that part out. So sorry!! Going to update it now. Basically, we’re just looking for a slight thicken….

      • You said that the 225c was taken out, but it’s still there. So you are saying to just cook it slightly then remove or can? 225 should give a very thick almost candy???

  11. Good to know…thanks. We will be making this again! So here’s hoping the long term consistency is right this time.

  12. I made this today and put about a half cup into a homemade quart of kefir. It is delicious! I think my picky boys will like it too. Thanks for sharing the recipe and process.

  13. Hey all, glad the revisions were done before I tried this recipe because it turned out great! So simple..so yummy! Kept the pulp.. Maybe fruit leather? ( I had very few stems). Thanks for sharing.

  14. Aimee,
    I use a steamer juicer to make my jelly – could I use it instead of the method of cooking and straining? Usually when I’m done with the steamer juicer, all I have is juice, pure beautiful juice. If that was the case, how would I make the syrup? Just go to the adding lemon and sugar stage?

  15. what can I use instead of lemon

  16. you can use the blueberry skins add a couple of Tablespoons of sugar and use it for jelly

  17. good one recepie i like it

  18. I made this today only I used ripe Pinot Noir grapes instead if blueberries. We have a single grape vine and I needed something to do with the grapes since there’s not enough to make wine. The syrup is amazingly good. Was going to give it as holiday gifts but I don’t think it’ll last that long!

  19. Mine turned out grainy. What did I do wrong? The flavor is great and the smell is divine, but the graininess makes it not ideal for gift giving. I’d appreciate any suggestions!

  20. Debbie Pettipas says:

    Just wondering if I could use frozen blueberries in this recipe instead of the fresh. And if I can, should I be using less then the 1 cup of water specified in the recipe?

  21. WHOA. This is delicious. My roommate and I made this for Christmas presents for all of our loved ones this year. So easy, affordable, and delicious!!! We added a bit of lavender instead of cinnamon, and its great. Thank you for this recipe!

  22. I just found your recipe thru a Google search I am going to try it today thank you so much form sharing it.

  23. Alexis says:

    Can you sub strawberries for blueberries?

    • i was wondering the same thing just now. ive done this with blueberries but not strawberries yet

  24. Adrianne says:

    I just made this and it came out extremely good…I used frozen blueberries.

    Only thing is, it seems kind of thin and runny…I was looking at it thinking I might make a drink out of it, lol.

    I did try boiling it for about 15 minutes longer…we’ll see if that helps.

  25. Adrianne says:

    Ooops…I guess I boiled it 15 minutes too long…it’s blueberry jelly now.

    It’s okay, I’ll just heat it up when I need to use it again.

  26. I used a cup of boiling water to “rinse” off the skins in the strainer and extract more juice, then increased the cooking time with the sugar to get it to thicken up a bit more. Worked great! I’m going to mix the syrup with vodka to make a blueberry martini.

  27. letty bromenschenkel says:

    cleaning the blues, I put my berries on a clean large towel, roll it back n forth as I sort out the bad berries, it takes very little time, the towel holds the stems and leaves.
    the pulp can be used for fruit leather or I played around with it until I made a tasty condiment from the pulp to eat with cooked veggies, meats, sort of like a cranberry sauce.
    I had been making blueberry “juice” for a few years with my juice steamer. The syrup has a bit more sugar. I prefer lime juice in my blueberry juice.
    I water bath can the pulp, the juice and now the syrup.
    To avoid making jam, the water is critical.
    I do not see where or when you add your water ? … do you first boil the water and sugar with the lemon peel and then add the blueberry juice and then the lemon juice at the end. I read your directions twice and am not connecting the dots on when you add the water.
    tks for the help.

  28. Deana Hoover says:

    I didn’t have such luck with this recipe. First off it only yields 1 1/2 PINT. Secondly, I think there is far to much lemon, it tastes very lemon-y. I was HIGHLY disappointed in this recipe and I have been canning for 25 years.,

  29. I have some blueberry juice left over from making blueberry butter that I’d like to make into syrup. How many cups of juice do you get after straining your blueberries?

  30. Aimee,
    Could I make this with honey if I decrease the water? Thanks :)
    p.s. I love your site! Everything looks so delicious!

  31. Aimée,
    Could I make this with honey if I decrease the water slightly?
    Thanks :)
    p.s. I love your site! Everything looks so delicious!

  32. I have made jam before but this time I wanted to try blueberry. I made it, jarred it, and water bath. It sealed very nicely but did not jell. I think I over cooked it because I was interrupted. My question is that since it is sealed can I use it for syrup !!!

  33. I made this for the first time over a year ago and it was delicious, even my kids love it. I have used the same recipe for raspberry syrup and it turned out perfectly, I used it to make a very tasty raspberry vingarette then froze the rest. Thank you Aimee for fabulous, family friendly recipes!

  34. I just made this. SOOO yum. Canned a few jars for later and one for the now. Hubby taste tested it and says YUUMMMMMMM!!

  35. I ended up putting all of the lemon juice in insted of the 2 tablespoons and the syrup turned out very nicely. Also if your lemon peels are thin enough wouldn’t they be very close to candied lemon peels? I sucked on the zest after removing it and enjoyed the change from sweet blueberry to lemon!

  36. Followed your recipe with a few adjusttments since I didn’t have as many berries as the recipe called for plus I used huckleberries instead of blueberries & they cost an arm and a leg here unless you pick or get them as a gift.

    Have loved reading responses since they gave me a ton of ideas of what I can do with berries I couldn’t get to last Fall. I had flash frozen raspberries, blackberries & strawberries when my mother became ill and I needed to go there.

    My syrup turned out superb! Thanks!

  37. Jennifer says:

    Any reason to not leave the berries in the syrup?

  38. Hello. I have a lot of frozen blueberries and I tried this recipe but it was to watery. How would I thicken it? With more sugar? Thanks

  39. HI, I did this for the first time today and it looks, tastes and smells yummy however it has gone solid when cooled. What did I do wrong and can I rescue it? Thanks x

  40. If the syrup is canned can I keep this in a cupboard instead of a fridge until opened? Also how long will it keep?

  41. I WOULD use fruit syrup at my table but haven’t yet because all of the store bought syrups use corn syrup and I didn’t want to use those. So thank-you for this recipe. As soon as I can I’ll be making homemade blueberry syrup for the family. I have an empty maple syrup jar waiting to be filled. I can already see this going on pancakes, waffles, cheesecake and I love the commenters’ ideas of using the leftovers for blueberry butter and smoothies :). Nom, nom.

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