I’ve been bitten by a bug the past couple of years that has infected me with a burning desire to make my own liqueurs. Not only great for my own use but they’ve been the star of my holiday gift baskets. I started in 2010 with Cranberry Liqueur and I’m still smitten. Delicious, gorgeous AND easy to make…pretty perfect in my book. Cranberry opened the door and in rushed Limoncello and both Coffee and Chocolate liqueurs. They all had one thing in common and that was vodka. I was anxious to try something new this year and Chambord has always been a favorite of mine. Seemed perfect timing; stock is diminished and it was either purchase a bottle or make some and I’m delighted I can now call Raspberry Liqueur another success from my
brewing facility kitchen.
It seemed that the stars were aligned for this one. I had just received a nice bottle of Camus Cognac to taste. Although recipes for raspberry liqueur typically call for brandy, cognac is simply a brandy that is produced in the Cognac region of France. The name is also used to describe any very fine quality brandy. Often served as an after dinner drink in a large snifter allowing for the scent to be a part of the enjoyment, it is savored with tiny sips.
Camus youngest Cognac, the Very Special is a blend of different eaux-de-vie of the Cognac region. Both the VS and VSOP have a new screw cap, which serves cocktail measures (as its at 20ml). Though not often thought of as an ingredient in a cocktail, this particular blend may be used for mixed drinks and cocktails, or on the rocks.
I thought it not a huge stretch to include it as an ingredient in an elegant liqueur and felt it even more appropriate as I intended to replicate a liqueur from France. Many folks would disdain wasting a fine cognac in this fashion but what I loved about this bottle was that it was young and much less expensive than those bottles that just seem synonymous with a gorgeously appointed study, men in large, tufted chairs and the scent of a fine cigar in the air. I didn’t feel like I was wasting a good thing by using it in a lesser fashion at all; as a matter of fact I’m certain it elevated the finished result.
I’ve included a recipe for a Raspberry Cosmopolitan but this is delightful in any number of ways. Served in cordial glasses, it’s great alone but we also enjoyed it with champagne and/or sparkling water. It’s beautiful, festive and not to mention…easy and fast. No month long wait for the vodka to mellow with this one. Start it now and be serving it next weekend!
- 12 ounces raspberries (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1/2 cup cognac
- 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds and pod reserved
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 cup sugar
- Place the raspberries in a bowl and gently mash them with a muddler or the back of a spoon. Pour into a 1-quart sealable glass jar and add the red wine. Shake well.
- Pour the brandy into a pint-sized sealable glass and add the lemon zest and vanilla paste. Seal and shake the jar.
- Let both jars steep for 2 days, shaking the contents each day.
- After 2 days have passed, line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Strain the raspberry-wine mixture through the strainer; use the raspberries for another use if desired.
- Set aside one cup of the raspberry infused wine and pour the remainder into a small saucepan.
- Add the sugar and heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is syrupy, 5 to 7 minutes; let the syrup cool to room temperature.
- Strain the brandy mixture through the strainer lined with new cheesecloth. Combine the infused brandy with the cooled raspberry syrup in a quart-sized sealable jar.
- Add the reserved cup of raspberry wine. Seal and shake, then let rest at room temperature for 2 days.
- Refrigerate and store for up to 1 month.
- 2 oz Vodka
- 1 oz Raspberry Liqueur (Chambord if not making your own)
- 1 oz Pomegranate or Cranberry Juice
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- Lemon twists
- Whole raspberries
- Fill shaker with ice and add all of the cocktail ingredients.
- Shake vigorously several times.
- Put a raspberry into the bottom of each glass and pour mixture from the shaker over the berry into the glasses.
- Garnish with a lemon twist.
I was provided with a bottle of Camus VS Cognac for review; all opinions expressed are my own.
Recipe for Raspberry Liqueur adapted from Marcia Simmons on Serious Eats