Mulberry drink (Sharab el-toot)
July 19, 2013 • Category: Beverages
In the mountains, the rules are different; barter, for instance, is still practiced. Our mulberry tree mysteriously refused to give us any fruit for ten years on; our neighbor has the tree that keeps on giving; we help ourselves and she gets our peaches and eggplants (and cucumbers, etc).
Her mother, an energetic 89-year-old, climbs the tree herself and makes the family’s traditional mulberry syrup or sharab el-toot. She wanted to give me a few pointers: ” keep the red ones in the batch, they will supply a little tanginess”.
True, picking berries is messy. I did not wear gloves and after 10 minutes I looked like I had just slaughtered a huge pig. Never mind, a rinse will get rid of all that juicy redness. Think of the advantages: A delicious, high-fiber drink, anytime you want. Making the mulberry syrup is easy and rather quick.
Here is the method: Quickly rinse the berries and throw the lot (in batches) in the food processor; purée, transfer to a sieve and collect the juice (keep the rest to make jam with). Measure the juice and transfer to a large pot preferably stainless steel. Add double the amount of sugar (if you get a quart of juice, get 2 of sugar). Stir over medium heat, skim off the froth if you get any. After 10 minutes, the liquid should turn to syrup.
To sterilize bottles: boil in water for 5 minutes and air-dry.
NOTE: This traditional mulberry syrup is no longer sold or exported; it has been replaced by blackberry syrup. I have not tried this method with blackberries, but since they are readily available in the US, I would be willing to give it a try.
To use mulberry syrup: Pour 3 tablespoons in a glass; add 6 oz of water and stir. Drink cold. Offer to all the people that drop by for an impromptu visit.
24 Comments • Comments Feed
Michelle Trudy Holtz says:
Hmmm, be have mulberry trees here too, but we generally don’t eat off them. We just curse at ourselves when we find we have parked under one and have a cluster of birds hanging out over top our cars.
But I would love to climb up and get some! I don’t think anyone would mind. Except the birds.
On July 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm
Mark Wisecarver says:
I was growing this on our farm, close to the Grape orchards, and even kept one of my trucks parked under one of the large trees, also built a building for the bikes under them, the red mulberry trees shade and decorate everything! 🙂
They grow very well in Tennessee, and apparently Henry Ford brought a bunch of the white berry trees to Michigan, because the Silk worms love them.
On July 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm
Paula Mello says:
I have one of this amazing trees in my backyard, it’s amazing! I have 2 even 3 harvests per year. I guess the secret is to love our trees, always 🙂
On July 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm
@Paula: you are right, nature too needs to be loved!
@Mark, sounds fantastic! yes, the silk worms love them and they did allow a lot of lebanese folks to make a living way back when.
@Michelle: haha, you’re right, the birds do love them!
@Jessica: mulberries have an intense berry flavor which is no acidity, it is almost like eating chocolate
@`kathleen`; Great idea! thanks so much for sharing it 🙂
@Romeo: Thanks for the explanation! I will look into it!
@Zerrin: I like this method! Wish we could do have done it! 🙂
@Susan: I need to investigate; when I asked nobody could give me an answer!
On July 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm
Wonderful! What a great fruit.
On July 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm
I’ve only ever had dried mullberries (mulberry trees aren’t hardy enough to grow where I live). Is there an easy way to describe the flavour?
On July 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm
Belinda @zomppa says:
We all need a cool drink in this heat!
On July 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm
Kathleen Scavone says:
I use the dish washer to sterilize the jars and lids just use the heated dry setting.
On July 20, 2013 at 12:50 am
Banana Wonder says:
Mmmm looks so refreshing! I need to find some mulberries and make this.
On July 20, 2013 at 8:35 am
A delicious drink, straight from the garden!
On July 21, 2013 at 6:30 am
I love the old traditions! What a wonderful and refreshing way to use Mulberries. I wonder if there are male and female Mulberry tree types and only one produces fruit?
On July 22, 2013 at 2:05 pm
A wonderful drink for summer! We have a similar syrup made with sour cherries and it’s perfect for unexpected guests! Didn’t know that it could be made with mulberries too. As for picking mulberries, I remember that my grandparents would spread a large tablecloth under the tree, a child(sometimes me) would climb and shake the branches so that the berries fell down on the cloth. I guess it’s an easier way.
On July 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm
Ozlem's Turkish Tabl says:
What a lovely looking refreshing drink, must have a go sometime, thank you for sharing 😉
On July 23, 2013 at 3:11 am
If your mulberry tree refuses to give fruit, it may be a male!
On July 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm
Very cool! Don’t think I’ve ever seen or tasted a mulberry but I would love to try the syrup. It must be like grenadine… Gorgeous color! And I’ll bet there are so many great things you could use it for… over ice cream?
On July 25, 2013 at 6:49 am
@Jamie: You are right, so many things; here however, it is traditional to serve it as a courtesy drink. I can see it as a topping for cheesecake, personally!
On July 27, 2013 at 10:35 am
Je suis assez ” mûres ” pour y goûter….
On August 1, 2013 at 8:32 am
sue woods says:
I do know that you have to have more than one tree as they are male and female trees and do not self fertilize. I have 3 and found that two have berries and the other must be the male.:)
On August 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm
Crush an unripe or white mulberry in your hands to take the purple pigment away. Enjoy and thank you for sharing.
On April 2, 2020 at 9:22 am
Hello, and thank you for sharing your drink recipe. I bought some mulberry syrup online. It is 100% mulberry with nothing added. It is very thick, like a dark paste. To me it tastes nothing like fresh mulberries. Instead it has the flavor of prunes, and when I drink it in water it reminds me of a dilute prune juice. I am wondering if this is how the mulberry syrup is supposed to taste? I have never tried it before, so have nothing else to compare it to. Thanks!
On September 24, 2020 at 4:33 pm
Mulberries can be male or female. A male tree will never set fruit- unless it becomes a female spontaneously which can happen! That’s why your mulberry hasn’t (or hadn’t) set fruit.
On June 22, 2021 at 12:14 pm