Thursday, February 9, 2012
There are many delicious things that I make with our harvest of wild blackberries, but one of our favourites is blackberry vodka. Simple and oh, so delicious, here is how to do it.
Get a large clean glass bottle with a wide mouth and a good lid. I use 1.5l bottles that used to have cranberry juice in them (annoyingly Ocean Spray has switched to plastic now, but V8 juice comes in similar bottles). Layer your blackberries in with castor sugar. You want enough castor sugar that all the berries get a light coating. You will have to shake the bottle around to achieve this, but don't worry about mushing up the berries, that actually helps in the process. Now leave them a day or two. The sugar draws the juice out and helps the berries to start breaking down - basically getting them ready to impart their berry deliciousness into the vodka.
Once the berries have started leaching out all their yummy juices, top up the bottle with vodka. My jars were really packed with berries so it only took a bit over half a litre to fill up the 1.5l bottle. This isn't a job for a top shelf vodka - leave your Grey Goose in the cupboard - but you don't want to use paint stripper either - save that for your tulips. A reasonably priced standard vodka will be amazing after this journey.
Now comes the hard part - put the bottle in the fridge and wait for a couple of months. You will see the berries become a lighter colour over time as their flavour and colour goes into the vodka, and really you do need to leave them at least a couple of months for this process to work. When you can stand waiting no longer, strain the berries off and you will have some delicious, delicious blackberry vodka.
My favourite serving method is over ice with a squeeze of lemon and topped with soda water. But it also makes one hell of a martini. Really the options are endless.
Oh and as for those berries that you strained off? Try mixing them through softened vanilla icecream for a boozy berry icecream dessert. So much yumminess.