Conventional wisdom says that blackberries come into season at the end of August. I commute to work by train and could see lots of ripe blackberries at the end of July. It must be down to the hot summer we had. Sadly, the train driver wouldn’t stop the train and let me get off to pick them, so Mr Portions and I went to our nearest country park and got foraging!
The blackberries available were big, dark, juicy and soft. Wild fruit is always so much softer than commercial fruit. We picked lots more than we needed for this liqueur and feasted on blackberries until our fingers were purple.
Here’s what you need:
NB. If you don’t wish to use Polish pure spirit, simply replace it with extra vodka.
Wash the blackberries and place in a kilner jar. Mash them so they start to release some juice and flavour.
Add the vodka and Polish pure spirit.
Seal the jar and swirl the ingredients round.
Store in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks.
Add the sugar syrup and reseal the jar. Swirl around to ensure contents mix.
Store in a cool, dark place for a further 2 weeks.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve or mesh and mash the raspberries to ensure you get as much juice and flavour from them as possible. When you’ve squeezed all the ‘guts’ out of them they will look like this:
Once strained, you can start filtering – line a sieve with a coffee filter; this filtered the liquid very effectively – but be prepared to change the filter several times as it clogs. We found this a particularly laborious liqueur to filter – it took lots of filter paper changes and 6 hours! On the plus side, the gorgeous colour of the liqueur provides some interesting effects on the filter paper:
The liqueur wasn’t full and fruity in flavour after filtering so we aged for a further 2 weeks.
After waiting the extra 2 weeks re-filter and bottle your now-potable liqueur!
Time to make, from start to potable: 6 weeks
Yield: approx 4 cups/1 litre