Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blackberry Vodka Liqueur

Blackberry Vodka Liqueur
Driving a desk (or a dining room table) is all very well but I do try to sortie out most days at lunchtime for a break.

Right now it's quite important that I do get out because I'm preparing for a talk at the Springfield Sanctuary Herb Festival and I 'wildcraft' most of the materia medica that I use to illustrate my talks.  That said, by the very nature of 'wildcrafting', it's not like going to a shop, so you don't always get what you were looking for and more often than not, something else absolutely wonderful just presents itself and demands to be harvested and used.

This afternoon I posted on Facebook that I had happened upon a gorgeous swag of hops on the tow path of the Kennet and Avon canal near my home and my friend Ruth said she'd thought of me while blackberrying on Greenham Common today... As one confidence begs another, I was forced to confess to more than a few hops as today's bounty - I was indeed guilty of bringing home some lovely blackberries again today... The foraging habit is quite addictive and admitting to it is part of the solution!

 While Ruth is presently jamming away, my blackberries sit in a bowl awaiting cream for pudding. However I was reminded that last year I made a blackberry vodka liqueur. I didn't blog it at the time but I did take pictures so here goes... It's a doddle really - weighing it really isn't necessary but some folk like to have an idea of scale.

Basically you are looking at about a cup of sugar to a pound of blackberries, layered into a jar and covered with vodka in the jar. You need enough to keep the fruit beneath the surface which in my case was less than a full 75cl bottle.. so about 50 cl. Or about 500g blackberries to 250g sugar and as much of the vodka as it takes.

Don't mess with caster sugar or any fancy vodka. The blackberries transform granulated sugar and cheap supermarket vodka!

 Then just layer it in, sugar and fruit, right up to the top.
 Pour over the vodka...
Cap the jar and stick it in a dark cupboard for a few weeks. Until Christmas ideally. Then strain it through muslin and bottle.
Fresh and frozen

You can use the sweet boozy fruit in desserts like pavlovas! The weird thing is that the vodka content prevents it from freezing properly. So in the picture above the new fresh fruit picked today is in the left hand tub and some of the fruit that made the dark liqueur last year is in the frozen right hand tub. Some colour extracted, obviously, but the fruit in the frozen tub still has the texture of fresh fruit!



  1. I too am a dedicated forager. I cannot resist gathering finds whenever I go for a walk.I made some blackberry gin a few years ago and it was very tasty! You have inspired me to go out for a rootle...Jane x

  2. They looking pretty good now Jane!