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- Dish type
- Vodka cocktails
This blackcurrant liqueur is not overly sweet and thus tastes especially fruity with just a hint of spices.
9 people made this
IngredientsMakes: 1 500ml bottle
- 250g blackcurrants (fresh or frozen)
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 125g demerara sugar, or to taste
- 500ml vodka
MethodPrep:10min ›Extra time:42days › Ready in:42days10min
- Slightly crush the blackcurrants with a fork. Place them in a a large screwtop jar together with the spices.
- Bring the sugar with 100ml water to the boil in a small saucepan. Stir till the sugar has dissolved. Let cool slightly, then pour it over the berries. Add the vodka.
- Close the jar and let sit at a bright place but not in the full sun for 4 to 6 weeks.
- Place the contents of the jar into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook, uncovered, until the currants are soft, about 10 minutes. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if desired. Stir till the sugar has dissolved.
- Strain through a sieve lined with fine muslin or cheesecloth and fill into bottles. Do not press on the currants, or the liqueur will be cloudy.
- Let cool, pour into a sterilised bottle and cork. Store in a dark cool place.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)
Nigel Slater's rhubarb recipes
W hen I was a kid there was barely a garden without its clump of rhubarb, usually as far away from the house as possible, more often than not adjacent to the quietly steaming compost heap with its vegetable peelings and grass cuttings. Last year, happily trudging around the country's allotments, I came across many a canopy of leaves and startling red-and-green-freckled stems. In the shops right now are the first pretty pink shoots of rhubarb that have been forced into the world in the darkened sheds of Yorkshire's famous rhubarb triangle, just waiting to be baked under a sweet rubble of butter, sugar and flour.
I can't grow enough rhubarb for my own needs, so I carry the slender stalks, as pink as Blackpool rock, back from the farmers' market. Whatever else I do with it, there is always some that is chopped into pieces the length of a wine cork, tipped into a baking tin, sweetened with sugar, honey or maple syrup, then baked till they are soft enough to take the point of a knife. This becomes a template for breakfast or pudding.
Baked rhubarb, sometimes tarted up with orange, a splash of cassis (strange but true) or our British blackcurrant liqueur, is a good thing to stir into your breakfast porridge. It cuts the cereal's tendency to blandness. I add the soft, poached stalks to a smoothie too, blitzing it with yogurt to give a gentle start to the day.
It is easy to understand why this slender addition to the meagre supply of locally grown winter fruit and vegetables gets such a mixed reception. Any ingredient that dares not to be sweet is often greeted with short shrift. Gooseberries, damsons, blackcurrants and rhubarb – pretty much my favourite fruits – lack the instant appeal of a strawberry or a nectarine, but I know which I'd rather have on my plate on a winter's morning.
Even the most loyal of followers needs to take a little care with the beloved sour one. The leaves are poisonous in quantity and must be removed. Only heatproof glass, enamelled cast iron and stainless steel are suitable materials for cooking utensils that come into contact with the oxalic acid present in this pretty vegetable. Simmer your pink stalks in an aluminium pan and you will end up with a seriously nasty metallic-tasting – if not downright poisonous – pudding.
There is a suggestion that you can eat it raw. I certainly did as a nipper, poking chunks of it straight into the Tate & Lyle and then into my mouth. I recently saw a salad where it had been shaved off in thin slithers. Worth a try.
To those who treat a sting of sourness as a welcome quality in a dessert or pudding, the first stalks of rhubarb are like a ray of sunshine. That clean, bright hit of sour rhubarb, like a sherbet lemon, has an uplifting quality appropriate for the start of a new year.
Gooseberries, like a sharp applesauce, take the fatty edge off a plate of roast pork or grilled mackerel. Rhubarb works just as well. I sometimes make a purée of it with sugar and a little water, other times by roasting the trimmed and chopped sticks with sugar for 30 minutes or so till they will just take the point of a knife. Good on their own, a cinnamon stick, a flower of star anise, a few slices of ginger root or even the odd vanilla bean are all worthwhile additions.
Rhubarb fanciers might also like to know of a charming and useful little softback book, as pink as a stick of grandad's favourite, called Rhubarbaria (£8.99, Prospect Books). A collection of recipes both wacky and traditional, Mary Prior's book has hardly left my side since the season began. I warmly recommend it to anyone with a taste for rhubarb beyond the crumble.
Homemade blackcurrant cordial recipe
Blackcurrant cordial is an easy-to-make, refreshing summer drink. Source blackcurrants from local pick-your-own farms or farm shops to get the best price for them. They'll be considerably cheaper per kilo than in tiny boxes sold in supermarkets.
When is the best time to make blackcurrant cordial in the UK?
The UK's blackcurrant season is very short, starting in July and ending in August. Every year in Britain, 14 billion blackcurrant berries are harvested. There are 10 varieties of blackcurrant and they are all named after Scottish mountains. They are a very good source of vitamin C, with one blackcurrant holding more than an entire orange.
Can you make blackcurrant cordial alcoholic?
Absolutely! Follow the three ingredient cordial recipe below then top it up with prosecco for a sparkling aperitif.
Where can you buy citric acid for blackcurrant cordial?
Citric acid is available from specialist websites and in supermarkets and wholefood shops. You must make sure it is food grade. Citric acid prolongs the life of this blackcurrant cordial for up to a year. Otherwise it will keep for up to two weeks stored in the fridge. BUY NOW
How to make blackcurrant sorbet
- Make your sugar syrup first by mixing 100ml of water 1ith 100g sugar and heating till the sugar has dissolved completely.
- Now add the blackcurrants and boil then cover and simmer for 7 minutes till the blackcurrants are tender.
- Cool then press through a sieve to remove the pips, add the booze and chill thoroughly.
- Then use an ice-cream maker to churn to make your blackcurrant sorbet.
- Pop it into the freezer till you are ready to serve.
Ingredients of Rum and Currant
- 50 ml black rum
- 10 ml lemonade
- 20 ml black currant cordial
- 4 ice cubes
How to make Rum and Currant
Step 1 Mix black rum with black currant cordial
To make this yummy cocktail, take a rock glass and first add a few ice cubes in it. Then add the black currant cordial along with some black rum in it. Mix well.
Step 2 Add lemonade and stir well, your cocktail is ready
Add the lemonade then to give it that tangy flavour. Your Rum and Currant is ready!
Berry Liqueurs That Deserve Respect
Berry-based liqueurs don’t often get the respect they deserve. For many years, they weren’t regarded as much more than sticky sweeties—perhaps poured into a tiny cordial glass at dessert time—since it was hard to stomach more than an ounce or two of the stuff. Today, spirits producers are emphasizing the character of the fruit itself some are even dialing back on the sugar—a welcome change.
Two particular bottlings reviewed in this issue merit a shout-out as examples of the direction fruit liqueurs are capable of taking. The first is St. George’s Raspberry Liqueur, which is barely sweet at all. It’s made with a mix of raspberry brandy and raspberry juice, and has a surprising sour cherry and lemon curd-like acidity that sets the mouth watering.
Another bottle worth a second look is the Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial made by New Hampshire’s Tamworth Distilling. In addition to luscious dark fruit, this liqueur takes an intriguing turn thanks to an infusion lavender and lemon verbena, as well as the addition of Black Trumpet mushrooms for a subtle umami swagger that adds complexity and dimension.
Meanwhile, bartenders continue to reach for berry liqueurs to fill out cocktails like the classic Bramble, a cocktail created by Dick Bradsell in 1980s London—basically, a Gin Sour (London dry gin, lemon juice, simple syrup) laced with good dose of crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur) for color and fruity flavor, usually served over crushed ice.
Of course, if that seems too summery, swap in blended Scotch, as bartenders from the Scotch Egg Club did at a recent Tales of the Cocktail event, mixing Dewars 12 with the more traditional components for a season-spanning sip ideal for bringing fruit liqueurs into the colder-weather months.
Merlet Crème de Fraise des Bois (France Bedford & Grove, Louisville, KY) $25, 95 points. This wild strawberry liqueur reads like a glassful of strawberry jam, with a deep garnet hue and concentrated fruit flavor that goes down sweet and warming. Splash this easy-drinking, dessert-like cordial into Champagne or sip as a sweet ending to a meal. abv: 18%
Merlet Crème de Mûre Sauvage (France Bedford & Grove, Louisville, KY) $25, 94 points. A top pick for mixing into sparkling wine or cocktails, this wild blackberry liqueur has a deep plummy color and features a complex, moderately sweet mix of Concord grape, delicate violet and black cherry aromas and flavors, finishing with a pleasing vanilla and floral exhale. Best Buy.abv: 18%
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Jahiot Crème de Framboise (France Heavenly Spirits, Lakeville, MA) $19/375 ml, 93 points. Overall, this raspberry liqueur is rich and viscous, redolent with dark, ripe black cherry and blackberry compote—there’s even a fortified wine note reminiscent of Manischewitz. The finish is long and clings to the palate, yet offers just enough mouthwatering tartness to keep things interesting. Dessert-worthy. abv: 18%
Metcalfe’s Raspberry Liqueur (USA Vermont Distillers, Marlboro, VT) $25, 93 points. Made with over a quart of raspberries in each bottle, look for a deep plum hue and bold, sweet raspberry jam aroma and flavor. Add sparingly to cocktails where a bit of fruity sweetness is desired, or follow the producer’s suggestion to pour over ice cream. Best Buy.abv: 16.5%
Mathilde Cassis Liqueur (France W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Harrison, NY)$28, 92 points. Plush and velvety, this blackcurrant liqueur is a classic choice for mixing into Kir Royales. Look for a blackberry compote aroma and a sweet, palate-coating mix of Concord grape, black cherry and prune, finishing long with a brush of vanilla. Made by Maison Ferrand. abv: 16%
St. George Raspberry Liqueur (USA St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA) $35, 92 points. Made with a mix of raspberry brandy and raspberry juice, this is not a classic sweet sipper. It has a fair amount of sour cherry-like acidity on the palate, and reads almost like a port or weighty red wine. It’s deep and dark in the glass, featuring stewed berry and dried herb aromas, along with a fruit-forward palate that finishes on a mouth-puckering hint of lemon curd. Pair with dark chocolate. abv: 20%
Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur (France Brown-Forman Beverages, Louisville, KY) $32, 91 points. Made with vanilla and a Cognac base, this liqueur has a muted plum hue and a rich, black cherry scent. The palate is lightly sweet and easy-sipping, with a warming, candied berry-cherry flavor. Sip or mix. abv: 16.5%
Ginja9 Cherry Liqueur (Portugal Earth Delicacies, Carson, CA) $28, 91 points. The enticing scent is reminiscent of cherry pie filling. Meanwhile, the palate is not overly sweet, showing concentrated cherry flavor on the midpalate and finishing relatively clean for a liqueur. Mix into whiskey for a Black Manhattan-style sipper or pair with dark chocolate. Made from Morello cherries. abv: 18%
Art in the Age Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial (USA Tamworth Distilling, Tamworth, NH) $40/375 ml, 90 points. Mushroom cocktails are trendy right now, but this might be the first commercial bottling of a liqueur made with Black Trumpet mushrooms, along with blueberries, lavender and lemon verbena. Altogether, it’s a heady, intriguing mix, purple in the glass and scented like crushed berries and dried herbs. The complex palate suggests a mix of mashed blueberries and Concord grape jam, enlivened by a faint savory note midpalate, and finishing with lush, palate-coating fruit. Try it in a Kir. abv: 25%
The Kraken Coffee Flip
45ml Kraken Rum
15ml PX Sherry
2 dashes of Angostura
15ml sugar syrup
1 whole egg
Dry shake, then shake with ice and strain into a wine glass.
Recipe by Charlie Lehmann
The rich flavours of Kraken are ripe for a Flip. This is a creamy, bold, flavoursome drink.
How to make Simple Blackberry Gin using just 3 Ingredients
Across the country, the hedgerows are bursting with an abundance of blackberries. Harvested between August and Mid-October, blackberries grow wild throughout Europe. As many of us will do over the coming months, archaeological evidence suggests humans have enjoyed this delicious fruit for over 8,000 years.
Blackberry picking in late summer brings nostalgic childhood memories. Our family would meet every other Sunday at my grandparents for lunch. My cousins and I were loaded up with pots, pans and carrier bags and sent off into the fields to harvest wild blackberries for my grandmother to turn into a crumble for dessert. Many of the berries were too much of a temptation and we would often return with the red stains of our crime around our mouths.
Use purchased, foraged, or homegrown blackberries for this recipe
Pick wild blackberries or grow your own
When nature is in such a giving mood, we should certainly reap the rewards our hedgerows are providing. Not only are the berries delicious and sweeter as we move into September, they are a fantastic source of vitamin C and dietary fibre too.
There are now 2,000 varieties of blackberries worldwide. If you really enjoy these dark juicy fruits, there are some wonderful hybrid varieties you can grow on the allotment or in the kitchen garden. They will also provide much more flavour than those that grow wild. One of the most popular varieties is Loch Ness. It produces a high yield of blackberries, it’s thornless and because the plants have a compact habitat, it is a perfect option for smaller spaces.
Blackberries and sugar give this infused gin its sweet flavour
Grow your own Blackberries
Blackberries also tolerate a little shade which makes them a good pick for that corner of the garden you just don’t know what to do with. You can buy pot grown blackberries or bare root bushes in the winter. Soak them in water before planting and water them in well. Most varieties require a spacing of 1.5 metres but even one plant will provide a plentiful crop. There’s a little bit of management required as you’ll need to grow them up a network of wires. Tie the new growth in, cut back the old canes to soil level and they will enjoy a good mulch in the winter.
Blackberries have a short life. You really need to use them as soon as possible after a harvest. It’s one of the reasons they tend to be expensive to buy in the supermarkets. However, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem as they are a versatile ingredient in the kitchen from crumble, pie and homemade jam, they even work in salads too.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to make this blackberry gin recipe
Simple Blackberry Gin Recipe
I’ve found another use for them in the form of gin. Blackberry infused gin is the perfect way to see out the end of summer or even to keep until Christmas.
Need a bit of minty freshness? This cocktail has all the flavor of your favorite peppermint patty candy! Full of the smooth flavor of cold brew coffee with splashes of creme de cacao, peppermint schnapps, and Kahlua, it's served warm during winter and just as tasty when iced for summer. You can find this recipe by 2 Cookin' Mamas, here!
Not only can you get that kick of caffeine in the morning to get you started on your day, but now you can enjoy a delicious coffee drink in the evenings to kick back and relax too! If you love the taste of coffee and alcohol together than any of these recipes will create a savory sip for you to enjoy!
Share the goods
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The best flavoured gin liqueurs
You can get so many flavoured gin liqueurs on the market now, it's hard to know which one to pick. Here are our favourites.
Flavoured gin liqueurs have risen in popularity thanks to a want for more interesting flavours. While a gin liqueur is still made with distilled gin, it'll have been infused with additional flavourings, and sweetened, meaning the alcohol content will be lower, and the sweetness and sugar content higher.
Gin liqueurs are great if you fancy a flavoured G&T but you're not a huge fan of the intense, juniper flavour of a traditional gin. But what are our favourites? We tried everything from floral to sweet, tangy to sour to find our favourite, and surprisingly (or unsurprisingly?) a budget supermarket took the two top spots.