Wild raspberries (aka “blackcaps”) are my favorite weed, and they are just fruiting now. If you have never tried my wild raspberry liqueur, you might insult them as aggressive and invasive. Many products even boast that they will eradicate them. But I like them so much, I’m more inclined to relocate them than murder them.
I’ve created two enormous wild raspberry hedges in my backyard, plus a few other healthy patches, and various volunteers keep popping up everywhere. The most delicious thing I ever did with wild raspberries was to make liqueur. Liqueurs are much easier to make than beer or wine because there’s no fermentation involved. You use a spirit, such as vodka or gin, as the starting point. You can age or store it in any glass jar. No equipment needed.
Basically, you infuse raspberries or whatever in vodka (that is, crush the fruit, mix into the booze, and let it sit in a covered jar) at a ratio of 2 parts spirit to 1 part crushed fruit. And you could experiment and use gin or other spirit too; vodka is nice because it doesn’t add its own flavor, so you can really isolate the flavor that you’re trying to preserve. But in keeping in line with my own actual success story in this regard, say 2 cups vodka to 1 cup raspberries.
Let it sit for three months. Or maybe less. Or even more. It depends on who you ask.
Strain it and measure the result. Say you wind up with 3 cups of infused vodka. Add thick simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water, which you mix until dissolved with or without heating it first; some argue that heating it changes the flavor) in a ratio of 1 part syrup to 2 parts infused vodka.
Let that age for a month, then drink. Some fruits take longer to mature, so if it tastes awful, let it age again for a few more months and then try another sip.
Here’s a concise version for reference:
Jonathan’s Anything Liqueur
2 parts vodka to 1 part crushed fruit
1 part thick simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water) to 2 parts strained vodka/fruit
Infuse for 3 months
Add simple syrup
Age for 1 month
Drink, preferably with me.