Thursday, November 01, 2007

Blackberry Brandy

Tonight we began to make our Christmas presents to some of our friends: Blackberry Brandy. Now, if you read the recipe you will see that it takes 3 months to make, and Christmas is clearly less than 3 months away. We plan to make the brandy, decant it at the last minute, and give them the bottles with tags that say "Ready by January ___" (not sure what date that would be yet). We are kind of scared of our jar because it's much larger than a quart-jar and we're not sure how that's going to work out. We also don't have very good air circulation in our apartment and we're wondering if that will affect it as well. It will be an experiment. An experiment that hopefully will result in some delicious Christmas gifts for friends. We are currently halfway through the second paragraph. Updates as they occur!

Blackberry Brandy
From CLBB, originally from
http://hugs.org/Blackberry_Brandy.shtml

2 1/2 c Ripe blackberries; rinsed
2 c Brandy; approximately
3/4 c Sugar
1/3 c Water
1 tb Grated lemon zest
1/2 ts Glycerine; optional

Lightly crush 2 cups of the berries with a fork or
potato masher; place in a quart size glass canning
jar or and other quart sized glass jar that has an
enamel lined lid. Pour in enough brandy to cover
the berries. Add equal portions of the remaining
berries and brandy to reach the top of the jars
lip; make sure that all of the berries are covered
by the brandy. Pour in just enough brandy to begin
a small overflow, then tightly cap the jar and
wipe the outside clean.

Label the date on the jar. Allow to steep in a
cool, dark place for 2 months. (If a dark
environment is not available, tape a piece of
black construction paper around the jar.) Every
two weeks, gently shake the jar to distribute the
flavors.

After two months, gently pour the jar's contents
through a regular strainer or sieve; discard the
residue. Follow this by two strainings through
slightly dampened cheesecloth. For true clarity
and professional looking results, pour the mixture
through a large, clean coffee filter placed inside
a funnel or clean coffee cone; loosely cover the
contents with plastic wrap, since the process may
take several hours.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and
lemon zest. Bring to a boil over moderately high
heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Let cool
to room temperature. Add the optional glycerine,
if desired.

Funnel the strained brandy into a glass bottle,
then funnel in the sugar syrup through a strainer,
to remove the lemon zest. Cover tightly; shake to
blend. Let mature at room temperature, or slightly
cooler, for at least 1 month.

Yield: 1 1/2 pints

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