I made one more trip to the blackberry brambles a few days ago for just a few more. It was a Saturday. I stumbled over a few more small patches throughout that day – one behind a Starbucks and one near our recycling center. I resolved to keep at least one empty cup in the car the next few weeks just in case I find some more.

With the berries in hand I set to the infusion. Creme de cassis is a favorite for the Amateur Cocktail couple. You can’t get it in North Carolina because it falls into the category of liqueurs carried by our state run ABC stores and they don’t carry it. They do have some Hiram Walker Cassis, but we want the real deal, from France. Most years I manage to get a bottle by summer, but it is a chore. I found a recipe for making my own (here). I’ve never seen black currants for sale, so I’m doing it with Blackberries this year. I halved the recipe:

35 oz of blackberries in 75 cl of 100 proof vodka (Smirnoff)

For the blackberry infused vodka. I used:

12 oz (about 2 cups) of blackberries in 75 cl of 80 proof vodka. (The infusion container was 8 bucks at K Mart)

The two cup measurement was an estimate based on various recipes turned up on the web.

I’ll let everything sit for 6 weeks in a cool, dark spot, strain and then sweeten the cassis-equivalent, and simply bottle the vodka. Cassis can be a little sweet, so I think I’ll make a batch of simple syrup then add incremental amounts until I get my desired sweetness. I choose a stronger vodka for the cassis because I planned on diluting it with the sugar syrup. The flavored vodka is made with Gordon’s vodka, only $9 at our state store.

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