Where I live there is tons of blackberries, elderberries, plums and all manner of lovely fruits. Last year seeing that a lot of the fruit was going to waste, I decided that I should definitely do something with what I could find. However, after making all manner of jams and chutneys I looked for other ways to utilise the fruit, Abracadabra, blackberry vodka recipe. This went down very well last year so this year I am making it again and thought I would share this recipe which is an amalgamation of internet recipes with my own taste.
Step 1: Quick Note About Picking Blackberries
The great thing about blackberries is that if you keep an eye out you can find them anywhere, this year we have taken a lot of blackberries from public walkways in the countryside near my house, woodland, and from the train station my mum commutes from. Just keep an eye out and make a note of where you see them so you can go back and collect them.
Now the annoying thing about blackberries is the prickles and stinging nettles that are all around them so when out picking it is usually a good idea to wear trousers and not wear any clothing that is easily catchable, my jumper for instances is majorly torn thanks to my need to get the blackberries at the back of the bush. Some people may wish to wear gloves as well. However, if you are caught by a stinging nettle the best way to soothe it, is by putting some lick on it. Because it can be a bit tricky to reach some blackberries, the way we do it is by putting a bowl in a carrying bag and looping it over you arm so you have a free hand. It is also a good idea to bring a walking stick or umbrella with a hooked end for those branches that are a little far for your arms to reach.
Now when choosing your blackberries for the vodka you really want the black ones, if you are making jam them some red ones can give a nice taste but just black ones for the vodka. You don't want any that are too squishy either, try and get whole ones. Also avoiding picking ones that are low down as these can easily have dog faeces or pee on them and it is best to stay away from that even if we do wash them.
Once you have the blackberries you want to put them in a bowl of water, all the gross bits should float to the top, you then want to give them a quick once over to make sure they are all nice and lovely.
Step 2: Ingredients
70cl of Vodka (cheap as you like),
12.5oz (354 grams) Blackberries (or thereabouts)
3.5 oz (100) Sugar
An extra empty 70cl bottle,
Step 3: Here We Go...
Because the fruit takes up a lot of space in the bottle, first things first you will want to pour half of the vodka out of the bottle and into another bottle of the same size, I have used an empty brandy bottle that has been washed out.
You then want to measure out the sugar and using a funnel (make sure it is dry so that the sugar doesn't stick), and gently pour it into the bottle.
You then want to add half of the blackberries to each bottle, it is best to do this one or two at a time and to cover the bottle top as you drop them in so the vodka doesn't splash out.
You then want to screw the lids on and make sure they are sealed, then you want to mix it all together by shaking the bottle as if you were ringing a bell.
Lastly you want to put it in a dark, cool place and leave it for approximately 3 months (no less than 2 months but I recommend 3), once a week mix the liquid together by ringing it like a bell and leave it to do its thing.
Step 4: After Approximately 3 Months...
After the three months you want to strain the fruit as much as you can by using a slotted spoon and spooning it out.
Then you want to put a funnel in another empty bottle or a mason jar (anything you want really), placing muslin cloth around it so that it covers the spout and gently pour the liquid through.
Then its time for bottling and labeling. I gave this to a lot of people for Christmas last year and it went down very well with a cute little label.
Personally, I think it was sweet enough but if you have a big sweet tooth you could always add a little more sugar to your recipe.
I also recommend saving the fruit, they can be really nice heated up and served with some ice cream, but fair warning don't have too many in one go as they are tremendously boozy.
I shall upload pictures of the finished product in November/December.