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 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.
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 of blackberry vodka impart on a crisp winter’s evening and the dark ruby colour makes it a perfect Christmassy tipple. If you make this now it’ll be ready by Christmas – the blackberry season still has a few weeks to run. Here’s my recipe for a delicious Blackberry Vodka.
Ingredients for Blackberry Vodka
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
My 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 3 months…
After 3 months 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 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!