This raspberry liqueur is easy to make and is delicious both to sip on as it is, or as an ingredient in cocktails. Its bright flavor and color is worth adding to your home bar soon.
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Just as things like baking your own bread can be satisfying, it has to be said, making your own cocktail ingredients has a certain joy to it too. Whether that's making punchy syrups like ginger syrup or flavored spirits like cranberry gin, it's fun to play around. And the results can be truly delicious.
Making your own liqueurs is also wonderfully easy. All you need is a base spirit, the fruit or herb you are infusing it with and sugar. The exact details vary a little depending on what you use, but there is still not a lot to it.
Tips for making your own liqueurs
In most cases, you are best to use a relatively flavorless spirit as the base, such as vodka. The higher proof the spirit, the more flavor it should manage to extract from the additions. If you can find higher proof vodka, great, but otherwise regular is fine.
While it's maybe tempting to go for the cheapest base spirit possible, remember there aren't many ingredients so you may tell the difference. It's worth not skimping too much, though cheaper but without any overpowering flavor is all good too.
Different fruits/additions take different times to release their flavors. Some release more over time, while others will spoil. Others will give a bitter aftertaste if you are not careful (like the pith in citrus zest). It's worth hunting down any tips for what you are planning to use to save waste.
One of the main things is to make sure the fruit is covered by the alcohol. This helps avoid it going bad.
If you want to go ahead and make a large batch, then absolutely go ahead. But personally, I prefer to make smaller amounts to be able to use it sooner (without getting to the point of feeling like I HAVE to use it up).
Of course, if you are making some to give as gifts then the more the better so you can divide and share!
Tips for making raspberry liqueur
In terms of this specific mix, it's incredibly easy. Just mix everything together, give it a little shake then leave it in a cool, dark place.
Over the first few days, it's worth giving the jar a shake every day or two to make sure the sugar dissolves and fruit starts to release it's flavors. Then, you can largely leave it alone.
I'd recommend leaving this around two weeks before straining, although you can leave it longer if you prefer. The above jar is after around 10 days and as you can see, it's already a pretty good color. A month is likely to have an even more developed flavor.
Some people like to just leave the fruit in and strain as they use it. Personally, I'd be worried they go bad and sour the remaining batch, particularly as the alcohol level goes down.
So I strain it all and bottle it for future use. Use a cheesecloth to help get all the bits out as you strain.
If you're thinking of making your own Chambord-like drink, this isn't going to be quite as complex a set of flavors. It's a great raspberry flavored liqueur, but you can easily play around a little more, if you like.
For example, you may want to add in part of a vanilla pod to add a subtle vanilla aroma, and Chambord also has a little citrus peel in there. Keep the quantity low, relative to everything else, as they can take over.
Some blackberries in the mix will help darken the color and be closer to the black raspberry liqueur you buy too, and I believe they use brandy as the base rather than vodka. It's that little bit more subtle a flavor.
Do also bear in mind Chambord in particular is a lot lower alcohol than this. Some bought liqueurs are diluted with raspberry juice or even just water. I'd suggest leaving it stronger and diluting as you use, as appropriate to what you are using it in.
Whether you go for the more simple mix described below or some of the variations above, you are going to get a lovely raspberry liqueur with a great color and aromatic flavor. It's a fun and easy thing to make, and you'll soon be working out what cocktails you can add it to next!
Try these other homemade liqueurs and syrups:
- Homemade limoncello
- Cranberry gin
- Rhubarb syrup
- You might like to try this liqueur in my Kir imperial (raspberry champagne cocktail) and Clover Club in Paris cocktails as well.
- Plus get more ideas and cocktail recipes in the archives.
- 6 oz raspberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup vodka
- Clean the raspberries well and place in a sterile sealable jar (min 2 cup/480ml volume). Sprinkle the sugar over the top then add the vodka.
- Seal the jar then shake well but relatively gently to help the sugar dissolve. Place in a cool dark place for around 2-4 weeks, shaking gently now and then, particularly a couple times in the first day to help the sugar completely dissolve.
- Once it has matured, strain the mixture through a fine mesh cheesecloth to remove all solids. Serve as it is (eg chilled) or as a cocktail ingredient.