Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Recipe: Liqueur of the day is Raspberry!

You know what a fan letter is... it's just an inky raspberry. – Bob Hope

Photo: foamcow, Flicke ccl
So I didn't say last week but I went looking for cherries to try cherry liqueur. There has been good cherries – off and on – at the local grocery stores throughout the winter.

I know, I know, they're best in season but I thought I would give it a shot. No such luck, or luckily, there wasn't a one to be found.

So I had to go further afield. I already had 1/2 bottle of vodka leftover from the coffee liqueur. Strolling down the fruit aisle there were strawberries (not too good looking), blueberries and blackberries (at a frightening price) and raspberries. Over priced as well.

Then I remembered an ad on our local TV for Nova Scotian produce. "Enjoy the taste of fresh fruit all season by using fresh frozen." So I took them up on the offer.

Scurrying to the frozen aisle, I found my prey: a 900 g bag of frozen raspberries, for the cost of 1/2 pint of fresh. No problem, I thought. They're going to be mashed anyway. And they were on sale!! Someone was trying to tell me something.

So I brought them home and treated them in the same manner as for Strawberry liqueur, with a twist. I macerated, strained and mixed it, and am enjoying the overflow that wouldn't fit in the bottle as I write.

So here's what I did.

Raspberry liqueur and champagne
Photo: marcus_and_sue, Flickr ccl
Raspberry Liqueur

  • 900g frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • rind of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups vodka (potato vodka preferred, but I used Stoli since I had it)

Thaw the berries and place them in a medium sized ceramic bowl. Heat the sugar, water and lemon rind in a saucepan until just boiling.

Remove from the heat and pour over the berries. Mash well, cover with plastic warp and place in the refrigerator for 5 days to extract the raspberry flavours.

After 5 days, strain the mixture through a jelly bag or fine piece of cloth. This will take a while, but a sieve isn't fine enough. Theres too much fine pulp in the raspberries to do it any other way.

Once clear, or fairly clear, or as clear as you're willing to stand, combine with the vodka. Stir well and place in a bottle. Keep cool and/or in the dark so the colour doesn't bleach out. It shouldn't, but it might. It's very, very red. Your infusion should last for at least 1 month, if you let it. If longer refrigerate to extend its life.

Serve on the rocks, or mix with champagne or club soda, or use in a mixed drink.

I'm hard pressed to decide if Strawberry or Raspberry is my favourite now. They're both very good, to say the least. Try it and see for yourself.


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