Some of the best presents are those that are homemade: they show that the person giving it to you has taken time to make something special for you. With this in mind, on Day 11 of #100DaysNoTV we turned freshly foraged blackberries into Blackberry Vodka to give as presents at Christmas.
With the nights drawing in and the autumn chill a nightly feature, there’s something really quite lovely about snuggling up with a glass of warming fruit liqueur.
Most of us have heard of sloe gin: the perennial favourite during the winter months. But, there are lots of other options for a fruit infused spirit. Last year my Dad gave us three bottles of his homemade tipples: blackberry gin, blackberry vodka and blackberry rum. All pretty delicious, and my favourite was the vodka.
Dad has an allotment and between his plot and his house is a huge area of brambles, literally covered in blackberries in the summer. So we took the boys on their first forage and came home with a couple of pounds of fresh fruit.
The recipe and method are super simple. If possible, make it at least four weeks before it’s going to be tasted – longer if you can manage it.
750ml vodka (we used a supermarket brand; some people say it’s worth spending more)
These ingredients will make around 850ml of blackberry vodka.
Sterilised 1 litre glass jar with airtight lid – Kilner or similar
Large jug or bowl
Sterilised glass bottle(s)
There are a few ways to sterilise your glass jars and bottles: in the microwave, dishwasher, on the hob, or in the oven. I used the oven for the jars and bottles (160ºC in a fan oven for 10 minutes) and a pan of simmering water on the hob for the rubber seals (10 minutes).
Whichever method you use, do it right before you need them, so they remain sterilised.
- Add the blackberries to your sterilised jar.
- Sprinkle the sugar over the blackberries.
- Pour in the vodka and seal the jar.
- Give it a good shake to dissolve the sugar.
- Leave somewhere cool, and out of direct sunlight, for as long as possible – at least four weeks – giving it a shake every few days.
- Put a sieve, lined with a muslin cloth, over your jug or bowl.
- Strain the contents of your jar through the muslin. (You might need to do this more than once if the sieved liquid looks cloudy.)
- Using a little funnel, carefully fill your sterilised bottle(s) – save some for a little taste. 🙂
As our bottles are for presents, we made little labels. Good excuse to use my Sharpies too! It’s probably a good idea to record the date even if you’re keeping it for yourself. The blackberry vodka should last for several months.
And that’s all there is to it! Told you it was super simple. 🙂
There’s really no limit to the fruit and spirit combinations you can try. How about lemon gin, cherry brandy or strawberry vodka? Yum. I can see us trying all of these!
Have you made fruit liqueurs? What’s your favourite?
Bye for now!