Blackberry Whiskey

by Kristin on September 15, 2011

They say good things come to those who wait — I’m hoping this will be the case with the blackberry whiskey I made this week. The whiskey in the jar has already turned a vivid pink after just one day, but after a few more weeks of dutifully shaking the jar, it will get put to the back of the cupboard for a whole year* before it’s ready to drink. But what a treat it will be then, served neat or in a hot toddy, or maybe even a shot or two added to an apple and blackberry crumble. Time will tell, and I have a whole year to dream up things to do with it.

*If a year is too long to wait, try making blackberry vodka instead following the same method but using vodka instead of whiskey. It will be ready to drink in 8 weeks.

Folklore says the devil spits on blackberries on Michaelmas (September 29), but I quite like the idea of blackberries picked after that date giving this whiskey a wicked little twist…

Blackberry Whiskey

Makes enough to fill a 1 litre jar

Don’t use top-shelf whiskey for this, but don’t use the cheapest brand either (I used Jameson). I made a 1 litre jar worth of whiskey, figuring that if I had to put it aside for a year, I may as well go ahead and make a lot, but the recipe I got my inspiration from in the Guardian just used a small jam jar. Whatever size jar you use, just fill it up with blackberries and then add the sugar and whiskey accordingly.

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) blackberries
granulated or caster sugar
whiskey

First sterilise a 1 litre Kilner jar or other wide-necked jar either by running it through your dishwasher and using it immediately or by washing it well in hot, soapy water, then placing the jar in an oven preheated to 140°C (275°F) for 10 minutes (if you’re using a screw-top jar, put the metal lids in the oven too). Either way, make sure not to touch the inside of the jar.

Wash the blackberries, then set them out on paper towels to dry. Place more paper towels on top of the berries and pat gently to absorb any water.

Place the dry blackberries in the sterilised jar, then pour in enough sugar until it comes two-thirds of the way up the jar. Pour in the whiskey up to the top, then leave it for a few minutes to settle into all the nooks and crannies amongst the berries and the sugar. Top up the jar again with whiskey until it comes to the brim. Close the lid tightly and gently shake the jar from side to side to dissolve the sugar.

Shake the jar once or twice a day for 2 weeks, then once a week for a further 6 to 8 weeks, keeping it out of direct sunlight during this time. Store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year before drinking. And after their long soaking, don’t discard the berries — I’ve already got plans to use them in a boozy blackberry fool.

 

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Theresa September 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Mom used to make this every winter with a bit of ginger root added. Excellent for dodgy tums as well as a yummy liquor

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Kristin September 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Theresa, I love the idea of adding ginger. Might just add that in while it’s still early days.

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nessa robins September 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm

That’s fabulous Kristin! I went blackberry picking with the kids today and I wondered how I would use what we got. Lovely Photos! :)

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Kristin September 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Hope you enjoy your own blackberry vodka! Let me know what you think of it when you try it in a few months.

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Aoife Mc September 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I love this recipe! Definitely going to give it a go. Blackberry whiskey hot toddy – yum!

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Kristin September 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Doesn’t a blackberry whiskey hot toddy sound like just the thing to chase the winter blues away on some dreary, rainy February night? Can’t wait! (For the hot toddy, not the dreary nights.)

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Stasty September 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Can’t wait to hear how this turns out. I want to come over and sample in a years time :)

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Kristin September 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm

It’s a date!

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Móna Wise September 16, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Imagine how good the jello shots would be with this!
Yummy. I love blackcurrant vodka so this is bound to be fab!
Gorgeous photos Kristen.

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Kristin September 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Blackberry whiskey jello shots? I like your style, Móna.

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Wiosanna September 16, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Mmmm it looks delicious even though I’m not a big fan of whiskey. I like the idea of making flavoured vodka.

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Kristin September 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I made blackberry vodka last year and really liked it, but was too curious about making a whiskey variation not to try it. Give the vodka a go if you’re not a whiskey fan though!

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Amee September 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Such a lovely colour – I love recipes like this, the time, the effort (remembering to shake counts as effort, right?) But now I’m torn between the whiskey and the vodka – eight weeks sounds a lot more reasonable than a whole year, but I love whiskey much more than vodka. I’ll have to get back to you on this one.

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Kristin September 21, 2011 at 9:55 am

Decisions, decisions – why not make both? :) Let me know what you eventually decide!

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Dorcas barry September 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm

This sounds gorgeous! I never heard of it before, love the idea of making it for hot whiskeys.

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Kristin October 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Doesn’t it sound divine for a hot whiskey? In the meantime, though, we can always add a splash of our elderberry syrup!

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Moya October 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I like the idea of the blackberry vodka so may give it a try soon, not such a fan of whiskey.

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Kristin October 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

The vodka would be just as good, and with the added bonus of being ready much sooner. Hope you enjoy it!

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Terri February 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Could you use any other types of fruit?

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Kristin February 25, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I don’t see why not – what fruit did you have in mind? I’m thinking cherries would also be very nice…

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lindsey July 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I’ve had cherries that were soaked in 151 (rum) about 8 weeks. They were strong and yummy.

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antony September 11, 2013 at 11:31 am

great photo’s.

you can add cherry plum stones to brandy to add a vanilla taste. I found this by accident when I preserved some in sugar sirup then forgot about them after about a year they had a beautiful vanilla taste. Apparently they use the stones to make vanilla essence.

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Kristin September 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Sounds like forgetting the plums was a happy accident!

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Margaret Elliston September 14, 2013 at 10:20 am

I have been looking for a recipe for some time. Thank you. I start today. I’ll make some with vodka as well, just to keep us going. I make sloe gin. When Its ready I put the sloes in some sherry. Very nice!. Think I’ll put the blackberries in some ginger wine and see how that comes out Maybe they dissolve?

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Kristin September 15, 2013 at 10:15 am

I’m intrigued by your idea of putting blackberries in ginger wine. Hope you enjoy the whiskey! I’m hoping to make a batch this week too.

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Alan September 6, 2014 at 11:05 am

Hi I love your recipe I used to make a similar one years ago and hide it at the end of the fishing season away up the north of Scotland in the highlands and collect it at the end of the following year. I forgot how much sugar to use and found your recipe thank you. I’ve went a bit over the top this year and made blackberry, blueberry raspberry and a mixed fruit one too :/ next winter should be fun haha. Thank you again Kristin.

Ps love the ginger idea Theresa

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Kristin September 13, 2014 at 11:52 am

I’m very envious of all your different whiskeys! I especially like the sound of the mixed fruit one. You’ll be drinking well in a few months’ time!

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Ryan December 8, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Thank you for posting this Kristin. Just happened top find your recipe using StumbleUpon and I’m super stoked to try this!! Just bought the kilner jars (on sale at cost plus world market too!) and will go get the whiskey and blackberries upon arrival. Just out of curiosity, how did you first (and second, third, etc.) batch come out? I’m considering using both Jameson and Tullamore Dew…

Thank you again!

-Ryan

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Kristin December 18, 2014 at 8:42 am

Personally, I like Jameson and have always used that because I think it’s a slightly sweeter whiskey, so it lends itself well to the added fruit and sugar. I’d be interested to hear what you think if you make it with two different whiskeys and to hear which you prefer. My kind of research. ;)

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