Blackberry Whisky…or Brandy

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On Bank Holiday Monday I spent a happy half hour in the sun picking 1kg of blackberries from our overgrown leylandii hedge at the back of the garden.  I was particularly pleased as my usual hunting ground was cleared for development earlier this year, and anyway I haven’t had a harvest as good as this in years.  I will now have to nurture our unloved hedge.

5 year old Big Boy helped me, pointing individual blackberries out as I reached precariously from a wobbly stepladder.  He is excited about Blackberry & Apple Jam and the Blackberry & Apple Pie to follow, but I haven’t owned up to him yet that about half the blackberries are destined for Mummy & Daddy’s favourite – Blackberry Whisky.

I stumbled across River Cottage’s Blackberry Whisky recipe several years ago, when I last had a bumper harvest of blackberries and was looking for new ideas.  The recipe is very simple but doesn’t give amounts so my whiskys over the years have been a bit trial and error, but always tasty.

I think what I’ve done in previous years is make it like my Sloe Gin, and this is what I’ve done this year:-

75cl cheap whiskey
1lb blackberries
1/2lb sugar

Put all the ingredients into a large kilner jar.  If you don’t have a large kilner jar you will need 2 screw cap spirit or wine bottles and put half the ingredients into each.  Store in a dark place and tip upside down a few times every few days to dissolve the sugar.  Ready in 2 months.  At this point you can strain the whisky but I’ve always left them in out of laziness with no ill effects.

Blackberry brandy would also be great.  But as I intend to make Sloe Brandy later in the year I’m sticking with whisky again.

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