You’ll find lots of posts on The Travelbunny taunting and tempting you with accounts of the luscious food and drink I’ve gorged in places like Turkey, Iceland or Vietnam. I love going on food tours and sampling cuisines from around the world but sometimes the best tastes are right under your nose. Just outside the back gate actually.
There’s a rambling field at the end of our garden which is teeming with wildlife and it’s covered in a thick tangle of brambles. This year they’re heavy with plump, juicy blackberries aching to be plucked and made into something glorious. Like blackberry vodka.
Yesterday I pulled on my wellies (there are Adders in that field), had a good old forage and picked myself a bucketful of blackberries. I’ve put some in the freezer to add a touch of berry heaven to those warming winter apple crumbles. I have jars of dark, gleaming bramble jelly stockpiled from last year so don’t need to make more jam. So, what to do with yesterday’s harvest?
Ha! it’s been made into a big bottle of swirling, ruby-coloured gorgeousness. Blackberry Vodka. There’s nothing better than the rosy glow a couple of shots impart on a crisp winter’s evening. The dark ruby colour makes it the perfect Christmassy tipple or you could use it to concoct a blackberry vodka cocktail. If you make blackberry vodka in August or early September it’ll be ready by Christmas. Delicious!
Here’s how to make Blackberry Vodka. Scroll to the end of the post for a printable version.
Blackberry Vodka Recipe
500 ml of Vodka – don’t crack open the Grey Goose, a cheap supermarket brand will do nicely.
500g of freshly-picked blackberries. Rinse thoroughly to remove any bugs.
100g of caster sugar
2 Vanilla Pods
Vanilla pods are my blackberry vodka secret ingredient! Split the pods and scrape the seeds out – add these and just one of the pod casings into the Blackberry Vodka. The second pod I add to a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar which is lovely for baking.
I doubled the ingredients because I had so many blackberries and a whopping litre bottle of Vodka. Made perfect sense…!
How to make Blackberry Vodka
Take a sterilised, airtight Kilner Jar or wide-necked bottle large enough to hold all your ingredients. Add the blackberries, sugar, vanilla pod and seeds and pour in the Vodka. Yes, it’s that easy!
Give the jar a good shake to help dissolve the sugar and place in a cool, dark place. Swirl the jar every day for the first week and then occasionally until none of the sugar is visible at the bottom of the jar. Forget about it for 12 weeks…
After 12 weeks strain the liquid. Rinse a muslin cloth and wring it out tightly to stop any of the precious liquid soaking into it. Place the muslin over a sieve and strain the blackberry infused vodka through it into a wide jug.
It’s important to remove the blackberries at this point otherwise the woody centre of the berry gives the Vodka a bitter taste.
Funnel the liquid into the bottle of your choice – I save any unusual bottles to make it look even more special! You can drink now or, if you have cast-iron willpower, leave the warm blackberry flavours to infuse even more. Enjoy!
Blackberry Vodka Recipe
- 0.5 litre vodka
- 500 grams blackberries
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 2 vanilla pods optional
- Rince and drain the blackberries to remove any bugs.
- Take a steralised kilner jar and add the blackberries, sugar, one vanilla pod and the seeds from the second vanilla pod.
- Top up the kilner jar with the vodka. Seal the lid and gently shake to dissolve the sugar.
- Put in a cool dark cupboard. Shake daily until the sugar is all dissolved. This will take about a week.
- After 12 weeks strain through a sieve and damp muslin and decant into a pretty bottle. It's important to remove the blackberries at this point or the woody centres will give the vodka a bitter taste.
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Suzanne Jones is creator, writer and photographer at The Travelbunny. When she’s not indulging her wanderlust you’ll most likely find her enjoying coastal walks in her home county of East Sussex, UK.
Suzanne co-writes Sussex Bloggers which showcases the best of East & West Sussex.