I am posting this ahead of the upcoming Tennessee blackberry season so when you pick-your-own berries, or purchase at a farmer’s market, you’ll be ready to make a few bottles of Blackberry Liqueur.
It’s really refreshing splashed into a glass and topped with Prosecco or poured over ice with seltzer water. I think a slice of pound cake, a scoop of ice-cream and a trickle of liqueur would be delicious.
How about a cooling (adult) Blackberry Liqueur Snow Cone? Just the thing for a hot summer day and pretty unforgettable.
It only takes a few ingredients……
Fresh, plump, juicy berries……
…a sugar + water simple syrup….all added to a large jar filled with good vodka…
Day 1..this is what it looks like just mixed together…wait a while longer….
….Day 8….a week later and a few shakes this is what is looks like..continue waiting…and shaking….
….Day 15..,wait’s over….ready to strain and sip.
There are so many things we have no control over in our lives. Making things gives me just a bit of control over part of my little corner of the world for a bit. That is why I make things and encourage others to give it a try.
Keep a bottle…gift a bottle…make some more. It’s a simple pleasure.
Fresh Blackberry Liqueur
- 6 cups good vodka
- 4-5 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed & drained
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- Bring water & sugar to a low boil over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Turn heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes stirring often. Remove from the heat to cool completely.
- Pour vodka into a large glass container with a lid. Add the berries & simple syrup and gently shake.
- Infuse berry-vodka mixture for 15 days. The berries will lose most of their color. Every few days gently swirl mixture around.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer twice. Discard the berries. Decant mixture into decorative bottles for gift giving.
For Snow Cones – crush ice and pack into a glass. Drizzle chilled Blackberry Liqueur over the ice. Serve with a spoon and enjoy.
Teresa Blackburn www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com
Pure Vanilla Extract is one of the simplest & most appreciated gifts to give cooks. Bulk vanilla beans can be purchased online easily these days and combined with a good bottle or two of vodka or bourbon you have everything you need to make multiple bottles of richly flavorful Vanilla Extract is just a few weeks.
I have been thinking about why I like to make things a lot lately. As a child I made things with my hands all the time…little pieces of art or make-believe foods from mud, grass and sicks…pot holders and paint-by-numbers..my hands always busy and engaged.
I am like that to this day. I am pretty sure it is because the act of making stuff is something I can control in a world where so much is absolutely, insanely out-ot-control. When my hands and mind are engaged in a project I am more at peace and able to sort through my thoughts in a more calm manner. At the end of the process I have something to show for this time spent. An art piece, a cake or loaf of bread, a bottle of pure vanilla extract. Making stuff to share. We all have to find our way do we not? What is your method?
I split the beans…about 25 or so and add them to 6 cups vodka or bourbon. Add a tight-fitting lid and wait…..a small lesson in patience…..
….in a few weeks (2 to 4) you’ll have lots of pure vanilla extract. I keep my jar in a closet and shake it every few days to help release the vanilla bean seeds….week by week the color darkens to a deep amber.
I add a few of the vanilla beans to each bottle after I decant the extract. The vanilla flavor will just keep getting better.
Make stuff, share stuff….it’s as easy-as-this.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 6 cups good Vodka or Bourbon
- 25 vanilla beans, split
- 1 large glass jar with tight-fitting lid
- various decorative bottles with tight-fitting lids for decanting extract
- Pour 6 cups vodka/Bourbon into a large glass jar.
- Add split vanilla beans. Top with lid and shake.
- Keep in a dark closet or cabinet for 2 to 4 weeks, shaking jar every few days.
- Decant into decorative bottles. Add a few of the split beans to each bottle. Add tops and your ready to give away as gifts to your friends who love to bake. Bon Apetit!
Teresa Blackburn www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com www.foodonfifth.com