Blackberries are growing in profusion along the river and the railway line. I can't resist picking them. Mixed with a little sugar and some vodka, you get a delicious liqueur to enjoy during the winter. It makes a great home-made Christmas gift.
This is one of the easiest ways to preserve soft fruit - no boiling jam pans on a hot day, and no freezer space needed.
Step 1: Ingredients
500 g blackberries
100 g sugar
About 500 ml vodka
Strip of lemon peel
Step 2: Fill the Jar
Put the fruit and sugar in layers in a preserving jar. Add vodka to cover. Shake every so often on the first day to dissolve the sugar.
Store in a dark place for about a month.
Step 3: Filter the Liqueur
Strain the liquid into a clean dry bottle through a layer of paper towel. Seal and label.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Serve in small glasses - it isn't that high in alcohol but it is full of flavour and quite sweet.
It is delicious mixed with sparkling wine.
It is a lovely addition to desserts such as trifle.
You can make similar liqueurs from any kind of berry. Raspberries are particularly nice, and the product is a beautiful ruby red colour. Black currants need more sugar.
It keeps for ages - I have kept it a year, when I lost the bottle in the back of the cupboard!