- 2.5 cups of fresh raspberries (lightly rinsed)
- 5 cups vodka (any kind)
- 1 organic lemon (look for a nice firm skin)
Part 1. The first step will take about 20 minutes plus 1 month. You just need to get the berries soaking. Zest the lemon and add it to your jar.
Add the berries and lightly "bruise" them with your long-handled spoon. You do NOT need to mush them to a pulp. It's OK if some are still intact. Just press them around for a bit to "open them up" for the vodka.
Then, add the vodka.
You're done. Put the lid on tight and turn the whole thing upside down a few times to mix. Then put it in a dark place for 1 month. (It's OK if you leave it for longer, too.) The trick is, you have to remember to shake it at least every week or so. By "shake" I don't mean agitate like you're making a martini. Just gently turn it over and swirl it a bit so everything moves around. Tip: If you don't have a dark place, just wrap your jar in a few layers of newspaper to keep the light out. Another tip: Put a stickie note on top with the date you started. I also recommend jotting down how many cups of raspberries & vodka you used.
On the left here is my raspberry-liqueur-in-the-making, ready for the dark place (aka closet). It will sit there next to the blueberry liqueur (right) I started a few weeks before. (4 cups blueberries, zest of 1 lemon, 3 cups vodka.) Here endeth part 1.
Part 2: This step takes about 30 minutes plus 4-6 weeks. I don't have photos yet but will just outline it here:
- Make 1 cup of simple syrup by heating 1 cup of white sugar with 1/2 cup water.
- Strain your fruit-vodka mixture through cheese-cloth. An easy way to do this is to set some cheese cloth over a bowl and pour everything in. Then pick up the corners of the cheesecloth and SQUEEZE to get out as much of the juicy red booze as you can. (You can save the left-over fruit in the refrigerator indefinitely--just put it in another canning jar and cover with brandy. Good for serving over ice-cream or eating by the spoonful late at night.)
- Return the strained fruit-vodka to the canning jar and add the simple syrup. (If you can give it some time to cool, that's great.) Swirl to mix.
- Return it to the dark place for 4-6 weeks to "mature."
- Sip and savor. One winter I gave bottles of this as gifts. I just funneled the liqueur into mini wine bottles (from the brew supply store) and topped with craft corks. Customize cool labels if you want!