Let's gather the ingredients: blackberries from the CSA box, brandy, 100 proof vodka, sugar, lemon
In the jar with sugar and alcohol added
Let them sit for a month, give or take a couple of weeks either way.
Bottled (including my lovely art deco bottle)
Served over ice - a most delicious summer libation.
2 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup 100-proof vodka, plus more for later
1 cup brandy
1 cup standard sugar syrup (see below)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
Put berries and sugar in 2 quart canning Mason jar. Crush berries and let stand to allow juice to develop. After about an hour add the vodka and brandy. Shake the mixture thoroughly until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the sugar syrup, then the lemon juice and lemon zest. Macerate at room temperature for 2-6 weeks.
Strain through a filter to remove solids*. Blend strained liquid with 100 proof vodka to taste. Approximately 8 parts strained and filtered liqueur to 1 part 100 proof vodka is a good start.
Standard sugar syrup
3 1/2 cups of distilled water
7 cups of granulated sugar
In a one gallon saucepan over medium heat, add the water. Stir in the sugar, one cup at a time, stirring it with a wooden spoon to dissolve. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for about 12-15 minutes until you have less than 8 cups of syrup. Remove from flame and pour into a 2 quart canning jar, then add distilled water to reach 7.5 cups. Stir thoroughly. Keep lid closed to avoid water evaporation which can lead to crystallization.
* Solids can be retained in the refrigerator and added to fresh blackberries when making turnovers or pies.
1. I had approximately 8 cups of blackberry liquid after straining, so I added 1 more cup of the 100 proof vodka before bottling.