Blueberry 3-Way: Ginger Lime Jam, Spicy Syrup and Smoky Blueberry Martini Time!

Blueberry Ginger Jam and Smoky Blueberry Syrup with gluten-free ginger snaps

I love making jam.  A few summers ago I roasted in my kitchen in Queens making batch after batch of jam from peaches I picked on several outings in Connecticut.  The season ended with well over a hundred mason jars of varying sizes and specialties, which my siblings and I packaged with homemade breads and chocolate for our families at Christmas.  It was wonderfully fulfilling.

And hot.  And sticky.  And sometimes infuriating.

So when I picked up a few containers of the most plump looking blueberries the other day, knowing that I have a recipe with jam to make for the Burwell General Store Vintage Recipe Swap, I approached my kitchen with both delight and trepidation.

Problem:  I hate regulating temperature for jam.  Problem:  I hate how much sugar most non-gelatin recipes require and I don’t use artificial sweeteners.  Problem: I have a big writing contract to kick start tonight and don’t have time to swelter in my non-airconditioned kitchen while I constantly check the gelling stage I mastered all those years ago.

Solution! Use the berries three ways to get even more sweet, lip-smacking lusciousness out of them. Straining the jam at the first stage will give me lots of delicious juice for a syrup and the jam can be thickened a bit so the whole shebang can be done quickly.

For the recipe swap I have to make a variation of a jelly cake.  And these swappers don’t mess around, so not only do I want to make something completely homemade and as natural and gluten-free as possible, but I also want to kick things up a notch after my Baked Potato Cake disappointment last month.  So why not use the berries to make jam for the recipe I’m brainstorming, plus make a syrup to infuse into a sweet martini to go alongside?

I’m excited by this.

So this extremely easy recipe makes a Blueberry Ginger Lime Jam, a Sweet and Spicy Blueberry Syrup and a Smoking Blueberry Martini.  Just in time for a just-less-than-sweltering summer night in the city.

Smoky Blueberry Ginger Martini in my sweltering kitchen


  • 4 cups of ripe blueberries, rinsed and de-stemmed
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 5 limes
  • 2 Tbsp freshly zested ginger
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • yummy vodka


  • Place blueberries and sugar in a thick-bottom pot and place over medium heat.
  • Zest ginger directly in pot, so fine that it almost has the consistency of a paste.
  • When the berries start to bubble a bit, zest two limes directly into pot, and add the juice of those two and a third.
  • Boil until the juice is completely released and the berries are soft.
  • Strain the mixture over a stainless steel bowl until almost all the juice is out but the berries still retain a bit of moisture.  Return berries to pot.
  • Juice the remaining two limes into a bowl and whisk in the tapioca starch until it’s dissolved.
  • Slowly whisk the lime/starch mixture into the blueberries until combined.
  • Remove jam from heat and pour into a stainless steel bowl.  Refrigerate until cooled completely.
  • To the syrup, add the cayenne pepper and whisk to dissolve.  Remove to refrigerator to cool completely.

To make a scrumptious martini: chill a martini glass.  Use a bit of vodka to line the rim of the glass and then dip into white sugar.  Fill with 1 ounce of blueberry syrup and 2 ounces of cold vodka.  Alternatively, place the two in a martini shaker over ice and strain into glass.


  1. Erecipe says:

    I love blueberry in any recipe it has a nutritious. It has a compound formed of big polymer like heavy molecules which inhibits the growth of such bacteria.

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