What, oh, what to do with all these raspberries???
Let's make some yummy, shall we?
Making your own summer hooch is amazingly easy. The hardest part is patiently waiting.
Last summer we froze our raspberry harvest to make up Homemade Framboise to give away as Christmas gifts. Problem was, we wanted to hoard it, and keep it for ourselves, so this time, we are making a summer batch, and freezing some berries for a winter batch, and I think when the blackberries come, I will make a fall batch, as well. : )
This little liqueur is very easy to make, and drink, which makes it a little dangerous, too. I follow the guidelines from a cookbook called " Food For Friends," by Sally Vargas, and add or subtract as I go.
4 Cups fresh or frozen raspberries (organic, if you can)
7-8 Cups of the good quality Vodka
2 Cup sugar
1 Cup Water
Pick over your washed raspberries, and discard any soft or bruised fruit. If freezing the berries to use for later, spread the dry berries out on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and freeze them that way first, before bagging them up to store. That way, they will stay single berries, and not a huge lump of frozen mush.
Put the berries into a glass container big enough to fit the berries and the vodka, that has a lid. I use a half gallon glass jug that housed some cider we bought last year. Add the vodka to the berries, put the lid on, and store in a dark cool spot, like in the back of your pantry. Here's the hard part: Wait for two months, stirring it every couple weeks or so. Yes, TWO MONTHS!!! ugh, but worth the wait. Patience, young grasshopper, patience.
Make sure and write it on your calendar so you don't forget, and once the two months is up, you are ready to make your Framboise!
On Framboise day, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan to make a simple syrup. Bring it to a boil over medium heat and boil stirring, until the sugar is all dissolved, about two minutes. Take off of heat and cool completely. Set aside.
Line a strainer with a couple layers of cheesecloth, and set it over a large bowl. Slowly strain the Vodka/Raspberry mixture, and discard the pulp. If it seems cloudy, or if there is any sediment, strain again until it is clear.
Once it is clear, slowly add your cooled simple syrup to the bowl of strained liqueur, a little at a time, tasting until you get your desired sweetness. The amount you add will depend on how sweet you want it to end up.
Pour the liqueur into clean bottles, and give it away as gifts, or keep it for yourself. Store in a cool dark place, and drink it within a year (uh, no problem) before the color starts to fade.
Jeremy and I like to make an "Adult Shirley Temple" with it, and add it over ice with some sprite, 7-up, or ginger ale, and add a cherry on top. Or, add it to champagne, club soda, or just sip, but remember, a little goes a long way.
Enjoy your hooch, and but of course, don't drink and drive. (you already know that, but, just sayin' )
All packaged up, ready to give as gifts last year, pried, from my cold, strong, fingers.