Monday, November 15, 2010

Homemade Blackberry Liqueur

"A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something brussel sprouts never do". -P.J. O'Rourke

This post is 2nd in a series, Handmade Holiday Gifts.
We live on 10 acres. Most of it is wild. Luckily for us, (or unluckily) however you see it, a portion is wild blackberries. Luckily, is obvious. I get to make fun stuff like this liqueur. Unluckily because they are considered among these parts as a pretty invasive weed. We have other weeds growing that don't contribute to my kitchen projects, (did I mention a good portion of our land is wild?) so I'll call it a blessing for now.

What this all means is I have a great deal of wild blackberries in the late Summer every year. If I want to use any of them I have to pick them, arduous, tiresome work. Yes it takes hours, one tiny berry by one tiny berry at a time, and yes, I get scratched something fierce. A few years ago my picking arm swelled up so bad I thought I needed medical attention. Since then I wear long sleeves. But no gloves, although I did try. For some reason I need the feeling in my hand to know if that's a berry I want to pick, I need that sensation gloves won't allow.

I'm not complaining, well, perhaps I am. But on a nice day, it is a good way to spend time. Nature is a beautiful thing. I do see birds often while picking, perhaps they are "picking" too. Don't know the names or species of them, and it's so far away from our house, it's a good walk where the berries are in relation to our house, my husband isn't around to ask. He seems to always know the type of bird we're spying when we're together.

They aren't like the berries at the store. They aren't as sweet, and they have more seeds. There are applications for them, but this liqueur is an absolutely excellent use for them. Somehow all of the great blackberry flavor is extracted, leaving heavenly, sweet, berry alcoholic bliss behind.

Did I mention it's easy? Yeah, throw the fruit, vodka, sugar and some water in a jar and call it a day. Come back every once in a while to shake things up, and in a month it will be ready to strain and bottle. Ready to give to a friend, a really good friend.

Blackberry Liqueur

This isn't a recipe exactly, just a guide. Depending on how much fruit you have and how strong and sweet you like it. This can be used with a variety of different fruits. Blackberry of course, raspberry, or strawberry would be awesome. I think plum sounds good too.

Fruit-here I used blackberries, enough to fill a jar 3/4 of the way full




These will be the measurements for one quart sized jar.

Fill the jar 3/4 of the way full of fruit. Add one cup of vodka. (I tried to use more and it was way too strong for me.) If you like it strong, go ahead and add more vodka. Add one cup sugar. It sounds like a lot, but we're making a liqueur, or a cordial, a sweet after dinner type drink. (Or that's what I was making I should say.) You will have some room left in the jar, add a few inches of water, then put on the lid. Give it a few good shakes. I store it in the fridge. Every few days (or when I think about it) I shake it up some more. After a few weeks I taste it. It may need more sugar for your taste, (who am I talking about? It usually always needs more sugar for my taste.) So at this point I pour it all in a bowl and adjust the flavors as needed. If too strong, add water, if not sweet enough add more sugar, you get the idea.

After a month it's probably good to go, although it will wait for you to drink it for, ever, I think.

Go ahead and strain it and bottle it up, and it's ready to go.


Amanda said...

Wow this really looks yummy, I may have to try this.

Unknown said...

Omg I love your quote at the beginning!! You're so blessed to be surrounded by such a lovely landscape. Perhaps you could send me a taste of WA and I'll send you some TX moonshine! :-)

The Alchemist said...

Mary, that would be great, I'd definately be up for that!

you can email me your address, missygrhm at

Anonymous said...

That is what I want for Xmas. Sounds yummy.

Anonymous said...

Muy buen material.

Anonymous said...

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Cooking Rookie said...

Wow, this is just like what my parents used to make when I was little - my first alcoholic drink, and, I think, still my favorite, even though I have not had it for years. It brings back such nice memories. Thank you for sharing, I hope I will get a chance to try it soon.

Anonymous said...

My Mother calls this Raspberry (or Blackberry) Bounce. She makes it in a half gallon or gallon jar with sugar cubes so that they dissolve slowly. She leaves it sitting on the kitchen counter and turns it over every day (this is the bounce). The Raspberry is truly a beautiful color in a little cordial glass. A very special Christmas gift wildly anticipated by all of her friends.

The Alchemist said...

Cooking Rookie and annon- Thank you for sharing your stories. I love hearing about them!

The color of the raspberry bounce sounds so great, I look forward to trying it with raspberries!

Sheila Snow-Croft said...

Does this not need to be refrigerated? Most recipes I'm finding include brandy and say to refrigerate for up to 2-3 months. I'd prefer your method but am puzzled at the difference.

The Alchemist said...

I personally don't think it needs to be refrigerated if it's mostly alcohol (a preservative) and sugar (another preservative) and the fruit. It's just whatever you feel most comfortable with, I think.

Bea said...

Hi Nelissa, wow we have a lot in common! I read your bio & laughed for sure. Love your blog but just found it, imagine that? Love your blackberry story. I've got the same lucky or unlucky crop. I have acres & of course those berries have taken over the fence line. Every year I've tried to get rid of some but everything I do only makes them worse! Help...

Bea said...

Sorry Melissa, I corrected it on my side but it still came out misspelled on your end ..have a great day!!

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