Here is a easy recipe for a delicious blackberry cordial! The hardest part is juicing the blackberries, which is not fun. At all. But the results are amazing!
You will need lots and lots and lots of blackberries. Fresh is best, but summer is winding down and you might not have access to any fresh ones. Maybe you have some saved in your freezer. I personally never buy blackberries in the store because they cost ridiculous amounts of money, so I pick as many as time allows in the summer. To me, picking blackberries is the epitome of summertime. There’s something about spending hours standing in the hot sun battling spiders and thorns that I just LOVE!! Ha. In reality, picking the berries isn’t all that fun either, at least after the first few minutes, but it brings me great joy because I can pick buckets and buckets of them for FREE and laugh at the grocery store offerings. That being said, if you CAN afford it, cultivated varieties don’t have the seeds that wild berries do, making juicing easier.
After you acquire your berries from the source of your choosing, wash them and pick out any remaining stems. Then, the fun begins. Using a fine sieve, press out as much juice as you can. The first year I made this I didn’t have a good sieve, and the results were slightly chunky. This year I used a sieve and cheesecloth and made much nicer juice. It takes a looong time though. I did it in batches, and at times put a weighted bowl into my sieve to help it drip while I did other things. You can also help it along with the back of a spoon.
Once you have all the juice you can get, measure it. For every four cups of juice add 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and about 2 cups of sugar, or to your taste. Gently boil the juice mix for 5-6 minutes, and skim off any foam. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, add your brandy. You can add as much or as little as you want, I used about a 1/1 mix last year. This years was a tad stronger, about four cups juice to five cups brandy. I let it sit for a couple months, giving it a shake now and then, to let the flavors really mingle, but this year Hubbins tried it after only a couple weeks and he said it was delish!
Last year’s batch made anniversary presents for the family, and my sister’s father-in-law liked it so much he wanted to go into business making it! Maybe someday, for now I only have the patience to juice enough berries for a years worth. Good for sipping in the chilly fall, or would taste yummy on some vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!