This easy blackberry rum sauce is perfect for summer! Simmer fresh blackberries with a bit of sugar and your favorite rum for a sweet, silky sauce that's perfect over ice cream, cheesecake, French toast, pancakes, and more. A perfect way to use up those summer berries!
THIS SAUCE. It's a gamechanger, friends.
We're building an ultra-simple blackberry sauce with fresh blackberries (although frozen blackberries also work!), a bit of sugar, and a splash of your favorite rum. The alcohol gives this sauce a bit of deep, rich flavor that plays beautifully with the sweet, slightly tart blackberries.
Serve this sauce with dessert (we love it over vanilla or blackberry ice cream or a slice of cheesecake!), layer it between white chocolate cake rounds, or drizzle it on pancakes, french toast, or biscuits at brunch.
This sauce is very simple, but we want to point a few things out before you get started (for a full list of ingredients and exact quantities, scroll down to the recipe card!)
- Fresh Blackberries - Use fresh blackberries if you have them, or grab a bag of frozen blackberries at the store! Note: Frozen berries may need a bit of extra cooking time.
- Rum - We love the deep, malty flavor you get from dark rum in this recipe, but you can use any type of rum you like! You can also swap the rum for whiskey, port, or brandy if you prefer (blackberry brandy sauce or whiskey sauce = *chef's kiss*) or use a bit of hearty red wine (like a Merlot, Shiraz, or Zinfandel).
- Water - A bit of water helps the sugar dissolve and breaks the berries down faster. Some of it will evaporate as the sauce cooks down, so don't worry if it looks a little runny right when you mix everything together!
- Sugar - We used granulated white sugar in this recipe because it's easy and most people already have it on hand. If you'd like to make this sauce without refined sugar, you can use honey or maple syrup instead (like we do in our stovetop apple butter!) Note: If you go this route, the sauce may need to simmer a little longer to thicken up properly.
Variations and Substitutions
This recipe is fairly forgiving: It's easy to customize with whatever you have on hand! A few of our favorite riffs:
- For extra depth of flavor, use brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar. You can also add up to ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract if you like!
- If your blackberries are especially sweet, add a splash of lemon juice to brighten up this sauce and balance out the sugar.
- Swap the blackberries for blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, marionberries, or peaches (this rum sauce formula works well with most fruit!)
- Turn this sauce into jam! Zap it a few times with an immersion blender to break up the berries and use this sauce as a spreadable jam (similar to our strawberry slow cooker jam or blueberry thyme jam!)
What kind of rum should I use?
The rum flavor in this sauce is on the subtle side, but as always, we recommend using a rum you like to drink! We tested this recipe with white rum as well as a few darker rums at varying price points: They were all good!
The darker rums gave this sauce a slightly deeper, richer flavor, while the white rum was a little bit brighter.
What's the difference between dark rum and white rum?
Dark rum (or black rum) is typically aged in charred oak barrels, which gives it a darker color and deep, slightly smoky flavor (often with notes of vanilla, caramel, and various spices).
White rum is generally not aged (or aged in stainless steel barrels), so it's a little bit sharper, brighter, and lacks some of the nuance and color of aged rums.
How to Make This Sauce
Add fresh blackberries to a small sauce pot along with sugar, rum, a bit of water, and a pinch of salt.
Pro tip: Always add a pinch of salt to your sweet recipes (like jams, frostings, and syrups) - it helps the flavors "pop!"
Stir everything together and bring the sauce to a low simmer over medium-low heat. Let it cook, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Stir it every once in awhile to help the berries cook evenly!
When the sauce is ready, you should see some soft blackberry pieces surrounded by a thick, bright red syrup. Turn off the heat, then serve the sauce while it's warm or save it for later!
Pro Tip: Leave as-is for a chunky blackberry sauce with a thinner, drizzle-able syrup, or zap it for a few seconds with an immersion blender to smooth it out for a spreadable sauce that's more like a jam or coulis.
Storage and Freezing
This blackberry rum sauce keeps well in the fridge or freezer!
To store, let sauce cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to a week. Serve leftover sauce cold and straight from the fridge, or reheat it in a small saucepan over low heat when you're ready to serve.
You can also freeze this sauce! It will last up to 6 months in an airtight container in the freezer without losing flavor. We like to freeze this sauce in ¼ - ½ cup increments in small mason jars, so you can defrost just what you need.
Let frozen blackberry sauce defrost overnight in the fridge, then use or reheat normally!
This sauce is so versatile! Some of our favorite ways to serve it:
- As a dessert topping. This sauce is great over ice cream, on top of a vanilla cheesecake, or between layers of your favorite cake! You can also add a dollop of this sauce to cupcakes just before serving (we love it with our small batch chocolate cupcakes or coconut oil chocolate cupcakes!)
- Serve it at breakfast or brunch! A drizzle of the blackberry rum sauce is excellent on pancakes, biscuits, or French toast (we love it with Brie Stuffed French Toast or on top of Apple Butter French Toast!)
- Whisk it into a vinaigrette! Add a punch of flavor to your favorite salad dressings by whisking in a tablespoon or two of this blackberry sauce. We love adding a dollop of this sauce to our 5 minute arugula salad dressing!
- Add a spoonful to your favorite cocktails. We love swirling a bit of this sauce into our favorite drink and cocktail recipes (like our Sweet Whiskey Lemonade or a Blackberry Vodka Tonic!)
- Pair it with cheese. This sauce is great on a summer cheese board or drizzled on top of some blackberry crostini with a bit of goat cheese or brie.
- Use it as a glaze on roasted beef or pork (or mix it into a bit of BBQ sauce if you're grilling!) or brush it over salmon before roasting.
A Few FAQs
Yes! This sauce freezes very well. Let it cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container (we like freezing in small mason jars so you can pull out just what you need). Blackberry sauce will keep for 3-6 months in the freezer. Defrost in the fridge overnight when you're ready to use it.
No - this recipe has not been pH-tested for safe home canning. If you'd like to save extra sauce, we recommend freezing it.
Yes! Omit the alcohol completely or substitute a bit of apple juice, white grape juice, balsamic vinegar, or your favorite nonalcoholic spirit for the rum.
Of course! For a smoother version, let sauce cool and give it a few pulses with an immersion blender. You also blend cooled sauce for a few seconds in a small blender to break up any large pieces. Once blended, this sauce will have a thicker texture, almost like a loose, spreadable jam or a coulis.
While some alcohol will evaporate as this sauce cooks, we aren't simmering it long enough to eliminate all traces of alcohol from this recipe. If you're cooking for children, non-drinkers, or anyone in recovery, we recommend omitting the rum here (this sauce will still taste great!)
If you don't want any blackberry seeds, you can blend this sauce until smooth and then run it through a food mill or a fine mesh sieve to eliminate any remaining texture!
More Summer Blackberry Recipes
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment and star rating below to let us know how it turned out!Print
This easy blackberry rum sauce is ready in half an hour! Serve it over ice cream, french toast, pancakes, cheesecake, and more. It also freezes well!
- 12 ounces fresh blackberries (about 2 ½ cups)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons rum
- pinch of kosher salt
- Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan.
- Turn the heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes until blackberries have softened and the liquid has reduced to a thick, bright pink syrup.
- Serve sauce while it's still warm, or let it cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Blackberry rum sauce can be served warm or cold.
What kind of rum should I use? White rum and dark rum (or black rum) are both good here! White rum will give you a brighter, more pointed flavor; dark rums give this sauce a little bit more depth and complexity.
Additions and Substitutions. Use whiskey, brandy, red wine, apple juice, or your favorite nonalcoholic spirit in place of the rum (or omit the rum entirely for an alcohol-free version!) Swap the blackberries for blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or peaches if you like. Use brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey in place of granulated white sugar (you may need to let the sauce simmer an extra few minutes to thicken up properly).
Serving suggestions. Serve this sauce over ice cream, cheesecake, French toast, pancakes, or crostini. You can also add a dollop to your favorite cocktails and salad dressings!
For a smoother sauce, let sauce cool and zap it a few times with an immersion blender (or pulse cooled sauce a few times in a small blender) to break up any chunks. If you blend the sauce, it will have a spreadable, jam-like consistency.
Storing and Freezing. Let sauce cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for 3-6 months. Defrost frozen blackberry sauce in the fridge overnight, then serve normally.
- Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
- Calories: 51
- Sugar: 8.3 g
- Sodium: 0.9 mg
- Fat: 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.3 g
- Protein: 0.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: sauce, syrup, brunch, dessert
This post was originally published in 2012. It was updated in 2023 with new photos and additional notes!