In an earlier post, I provided a recipe I was experimenting with to make homemade black raspberry liqueur. As mentioned in that post, the berry flavor was overpowered by the rum used in the liqueur. I’ve now tried two additional batches using vodka instead of rum. I’ve also reduced the sugar in the sugar syrup. The berry flavor now comes out more strongly, since the vodka doesn’t overpower it like the rum did and cutting the sugar reduces the overpowering sweetness of the first batch. Both batches used the same recipe, although I didn’t test the batches as thoroughly as suggested in the recipe. So, the first vodka batch came out very nice, but the reduced sugar left the second batch a little hot. The experiments will have to continue, I’m afraid. Here’s the revised recipe.
In a large enough glass jar that will hold them combine:
- 2 cups of berries (Break up the berries just slightly – don’t want to mash them completely or puree them or anything…)
- 1 750 ml. bottle of 100 proof vodka
Let soak somewhere dark and cool about 2 weeks.
The day before you’re ready to try mixing a batch of liqueur, make up a small batch of simple syrup:
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil
- Mix in 2 cups of sugar – stir to dissolve the sugar completely as quickly as possible (about 1 minute), and pull off the heat immediately.
- Let cool completely and store in the refrigerator (will keep for several weeks).
On the day you’re ready, try making some sample batches first:
- Pull aside a small sample (e.g. 1 cup) of the berry-infused rum you have had soaking as a sample batch.
- Filter the berries out (use cheese cloth for best results, or a coffee filter or, in a pinch, a paper towel).
- Now it’s time to experiment! Take a taste of your sample of berry-infused rum (berries filtered out). It will be very hot (i.e. strong alcohol) from the overproof rum at this point – you are just trying to see if you like the amount of berry flavor coming through. Take a portion of your berry-infused rum sample, and add a small amount of simple syrup. The simple syrup will cut the alcohol content down as well as, obviously, sweeten the liqueur. Continue to add simple syrup to taste. Play around with proportions of the berry-infused rum and simple syrup to see what you like, and make a note of proportions.
- If after playing around a bit you’re not satisfied with the amonut of berry flavor of your liqueur, you may wish to let the remainder of the berry mixture soak a few more days and take another sample and play around again until you have the balance you like.
Once you find a balance that is right for you, proceed to filter and add simple syrup in your proportions to the remainder of the berry infused rum. Bottle it!
Refrigeration will help lengthen the shelf life of the bottled liqueur, but after 6 months it will start tasting kind of dead, so use it sooner rather than later.
Nice in a small cordial glass after dinner or poured over vanilla ice cream.