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Raspberry Liqueur

July 25, 2011

In between rain storms, we have been able to keep the raspberries picked.

The first berries succumbed to mold.  But now if the weather holds (fingers crossed) or at least doesn’t rain too much, the rest of the berries look okay.

Fruit liqueurs are pretty good, so I decided to sacrifice a few pounds of raspberries for a little taste of  summer in winter.  I like this recipe because it is a multi-purpose one that can be used with any kind of fruit.  I was short on vodka too, so I added a little brandy to make up for the shortage. Hic.

Fruit Liqueur   makes 3 quarts
from the Oregonian, FOODday

2 to 2½ pounds fresh whole berries or fruit, extremely ripe but not bruised
zest of one lemon, cut in strips
1½ to 2 cups granulated sugar (see note)
About 6 cups of vodka

In a clean gallon jar, place washed whole berries or fruit (remove stems; do not cut up, peel or remove pits).  Using more fruit (2½ pounds versus 2) will produce a more pronounced fruit flavor.  Add lemon zest; set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, dissolve sugar in water (about 1 to 1½ cups).  Cool; pour over fruit in jar.  Add vodka.  Add enough water to almost fill jar, about 1 or 2 cups.  Place wax paper under lid and close.  Store in the light at room temperature, shaking gently every day for at least 1 month, preferably 3 months.

Remove lid and taste for sweetness, if it is not sweet enough, make and add a small amount of cooled sugar syrup.

Replace wax paper and lid; place in a cool, dark place for another 3 months; don’t shake during this time.

Strain through cheesecloth or jellybag into small clean containers.  The liqueur-soaked fruit can be saved and served over cake, ice cream or pudding, or used in cakes, etc.  The fruit can be stored in jars on a pantry shelf, since the high alcohol content will preserve it.

Note:  Try 1½ cups granulated sugar for raspberries, cherries and peaches; 2 cups for blackberries and plums.  With these amounts you’ll produce a slightly, but not sickeningly sweet product.  For tart fruit you may need additional sugar.

“Do I detect raspberries on your breath?”

Nap time, or Trace’s best bat impression.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Sheila Z permalink
    July 25, 2011 12:48 pm

    I’ve done sour cherries like this that past few years. Last year I tried boozy red currants and this year I’ve done some diced rhubarb in vodka. I didn’t realize you could do all kinds of fruit, but plan to get adventurous and try out some other fruits this summer. Apricots and brandy sound good to me.

  2. July 25, 2011 3:25 pm

    Must be that time of year. We winged raspberry vodka, it sounds pretty much like your recipe minus the water. Will have to use with a mixer, most likely. The raspberries come in so fast we are scrambling to eat, freeze, jam, etc. them all as fast as we can.

  3. July 25, 2011 6:12 pm

    Yum. I love Rasberries. I’ve never tried making liqueur before. Maybe a good time to start? 🙂

  4. Ali permalink
    July 26, 2011 3:38 am

    I made some with blackberries a few years ago, it was fabulous. It might be time to make it again, thanks for the reminder.

  5. lynn marie permalink
    July 26, 2011 6:30 pm

    raspberries are my favorite… how nice that you have enough to sacrifice for a liqueur – sounds delicious! if I’m not an alcoholic now I sure would be after a winter of raspberry liqueur, lol.

  6. July 27, 2011 3:29 am

    I LOVE your dog pictures!

    I must try a small recipe of your liqueur since we didn’t get as many raspberries. It looks delicious.

    I love making flavored wines. One of my favorites–and easiest–is to take a bottle of a nice, light white wine, open it, place a large sprig of rosemary in it, then set it in full sun for a whole day. In the evening, place the wine in the fridge after removing the rosemary. It makes a lovely aperitif, reminiscent of retsina.

  7. July 27, 2011 12:24 pm

    Ooooohhhh. Cool idea. I’ve learned how to make homemade vanilla extract, but this is a decadence.

  8. July 27, 2011 3:58 pm

    I’ve had blackberry moonshine before but never made my own infusion. I think I should give this recipe a try. Maybe I’ll be able to have a sip after this baby is born in January 🙂

  9. Hayden permalink
    July 28, 2011 5:34 am

    sigh. sure sounds yummy. I had so hoped to get raspberries planted by now.

  10. Hatu permalink
    July 28, 2011 1:52 pm

    I have made fruit/berry liqueur with huckleberries, blackberries, ripe gooseberries, raspberries etc…All have made delicious sipping on a cold winter night. Try some over ice cream for a decadent treat. My fruit liqueurs weren’t quite as successful, probably not enough sweetness.
    I was taught, years ago, to pack the berries into a glass gallon jug (about half full), fill the rest of the jar with sugar cubes then pour over the vodka (have also used brandy). Shake the bottle, store in a cool dark place, shaking the bottle when you think about it, stuff is ready to drink when the sugar completely dissolves (can take several months). The result is very smooth, full of flavor and a sipping delight. I like the idea of a sugar syrup and tasting the berries/syrup before adding the vodka. Berry patch here I come.

  11. August 1, 2011 2:40 pm

    In the fall, when they’re on sale cheap, I buy a couple extra bags of cranberries for a batch of cranberry liqueur. A few years ago, I was a bit short of cranberries so ground up a whole orange, peel and all, to make up the difference. With the bitterness added by the orange peel I ended up with something similar to Campari – so good that now it’s my standard practice.

  12. August 9, 2011 7:29 am

    Do you think blueberries would work for this? would I need to maybe prick them before I put them into the container? I would love to do raspberries but the season is done and I would have to wait til next year I guess, but I have blueberries left (frozen) from last year.

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