In many parts of the United States, blackberries are in season right now or will be ripe very soon. This is the perfect time to think about grabbing yourself some and making some hooch.
We stumbled upon the idea last summer, when we had access to a cabin in the mountains with lots of wild blackberry vines everywhere. Happily, I went out in the heat of the day to pick blackberries, letting the bugs feast on me while the thorns poked and scratched me into an allergic reaction. I think we picked close to 60 pounds of the little wild morsels, me even falling head first into a clump of them at one point, stretching for the most perfect ripe one just beyond my reach.
It doesn’t take that many blackberries to make a batch of blackberry liqueur. Here are the tools you will need: a large glass resealable container and a chinois. The chinois is critical, as it is necessary for getting all of the juice from the fruit and removing the tiny seeds during the process. Again, we’ve found that Everclear works better than vodka as a base, giving a fruitier result.
Blackberry Liqueur Ingredients
1 – 2 cups of blackberries, washed and cleaned of stems
500 milliliters (2 cups) Everclear
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Combine the Everclear and the blackberries in the resealable glass container and store in refrigerator for 2 – 4 weeks, shaking occasionally to distribute the flavor. For a fruitier result, leave in longer and shake more often. When ready, remove from container and pour the entire thing through a chinois, using the mallet to macerate the fruit through the mesh. This process gets every ounce of fruit flavor out of the blackberries, plus it removes tiny seeds.
On the stove, make the simple syrup by heating the sugar and water, stirring until combined and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Combine 2 cups simple syrup to 1 cup of the alcohol. Mix well and strain through chinois once more to remove any final impurities. Store in a glass bottle in the freezer for at least 2 months. The longer it stays there, the sweeter it gets.
Blackberry liqueur is great in Kir Royale, and it is also tasty when poured over vanilla ice cream. It is the perfect reminder of summertime, any time of year. Enjoy, and if you try it, let me know how it turns out.