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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Homemade Blackberry Liqueur and a Recipe for Blackberry Lime Spritzer

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While writing this post about this divine blackberry liqueur I made, it would be much more romantic to say my day was spent in the summer sun biking down an old dirt road with a pail of freshly picked blackberries dangling from my handlebars. Not so, but I did go foraging for blackberries at my neighborhood grocery store's berry sale. That doesn't diminish the fact that this lovely colored liqueur isn't bursting with  the flavors of summer. Had I known making blackberry liqueur was so easy, I wouldn't have wasted my time and money buying the hard to find Créme de Mûre.  Even if fresh blackberries aren't available, frozen ones can be used making this an all season project, just defrost the berries first. This recipe was adapted from Serious Eats, a great website for food and drink.


Homemade Blackberry Liqueur

Ingredients

2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen (defrosted)
1 strip lime zest, white pith removed
3/4 cup brandy
1-1/4 cups vodka
1 cup simple syrup-recipe follows

Technique 

Place the blackberries and lime zest in a sealable sterilized quart jar, muddle the mixture lightly to release the blackberry juices. Add brandy and vodka, then seal and turn upside down a few times to combine all the ingredients. Let steep for 3 days away from direct sunlight.

Strain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing blackberries down to extract the juices. Next filter the mixture through a coffee filter or several layers of cheesecloth. This may take some time as it's a slow process. Discard the solids.

In a sterilized jar with a lid, combine the blackberry infusion and simple syrup-shake to mix. Let rest a day or so. Store in the refrigerator. for up to two months.



Simple Syrup

Ingredients

1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Technique

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. The syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

To make the blackberry lime spritzer, combine 2 tablespoons of the blackberry liqueur, 1 teaspoon lime juice in a glass. Add sparkling water to the mixture. Serve over ice with a garnish of lime slices and fresh blackberries. I freeze a blackberry or two in an ice tray to use in this drink.


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