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 make terrific gifts. I started in 2010 with Limoncello and I’m still smitten. Delicious, gorgeous AND easy to make…pretty perfect in my book. After Limoncello opened the door, in rushed Cranberry, Coffee and Chocolate liqueurs. They all had one thing in common and that was vodka. I was anxious to try something new a couple of years ago and since Chambord Raspberry Liqueur has always been a favorite of mine it seemed the perfect choice.
I had a recipe suggested to me by a liquor brand that had sent me some Cognac so I was game and I tried it and it was good. BUT. Always the but right? It was more complicated than my other efforts and quite frankly it just didn’t have the same freshness that Limoncello had so I’ve always wanted to scale back and give Raspberry Liqueur another try with the basics I’ve come to love that are so simple; vodka, sugar and fruit.
It seemed that the stars were aligned for this one because I think it’s pretty perfect. I’ve only been brewing it for 3 weeks but wanted to try it now so I could get the post out for those also interested in trying their hand at making this and having it ready for summer sipping. Liqueurs get better with age as the vodka mellows more over time; so while I tried it at 3 weeks I’m thinking another 3 will give me an even smoother result. Want to have some ready for June too; make it now!
I’ve not used any of the vodka given to me so generously by brands I love; I’ll save those for another featured drink. What I used was Smirnoff; not just because it’s reasonably priced but also because they make a bottle of 100 proof vodka. Find it if you can as the higher the alcohol content, the better a job it will do of extracting the most from whatever fruit or citrus you use.
I use this liqueur in so many ways. Over ice in lowball glasses. Straight from the freezer in cordials. For a really festive event, I’ll serve it with some chilled Prosecco; this photo is actually from a party I did for Christmas a couple of years ago; it was perfect…not just delicious but so pretty for the season.
This time around I had summer on my mind and made the easiest little dessert cocktail. I served little scoops of ice cream in cordial glasses topped with some of the liqueur and then just a touch of shaved chocolate. I’m not sure one was enough!
It is really so easy; get started now, I promise you won’t regret it!
Homemade Raspberry Liqueur
- 24 oz of fresh or frozen raspberries
- 3 1/2 cups vodka (I've found I can only get 100 proof in a large bottle of Smirnoff's; if you use another brand and a 750 ml bottle; you can just use it all)
- 1 cup of sugar
- Pour raspberries into a large jar and cover with sugar. Pour vodka over all and close with lid.
- Shake several times the first day until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Store in a cool, dark place for a minimum of one month (I recommend 6 weeks, longer is fine too). Shake every day or two.
- When ready, store in bottles. I like to keep one in the fridge for an icy after dinner drink!
I used frozen berries because I wanted to start this early when all the fresh berries at the market were trucked in and super pricey. It turned out great so I say use what you can find. If it's mid summer and fresh ones are prolific...go for it!