Carefully check the blackberries. Discard any that you don’t like the look of. Some people say ‘ do not wash them’, but personally, I prefer to know that there are no maggots in them or bird-lime on them!
Add the sugar to the water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. (I’ve used caster and granulated sugar and never had problems, it just takes a bit longer to dissolve the granulated variety).
Let is cool to around 18 – 20ºC.
Pour into a suitable sterilised glass or crockery/stone container, which you can fit into a cool dark place and which can be easily covered in cling film. Personally, I use a Rumtopf (see photo) designed for making fruit-based alcoholic drinks. This keeps the contents cool and dark.
Add the blackberries and vodka.
Swirl the contents. Personally, I don’t put anything inside the container to stir the contents but if you find this easier because of the weight, you could use a sterilised utensil to gently stir the contents.
Cover the container with the cling film. Write the date on a piece of paper to be kept with the container, or write on your calendar when you made up the contents.
Put the container in a cool dark place and only return to agitate the contents about every 3 – 4 days.
After about 2½ weeks, strain the contents into a sterilised bowl. Personally I used the double-strain method. Firstly using a sterilised sieve or colander and then through muslin cloth. When you are sure you have removed all of the solid elements, pour the liquid into sterilised bottles and seal them**.
Leave the bottles for another couple of weeks, then enjoy, perhaps as an aperitif, or poured over vanilla ice-cream, or as a mixer with sparkling wine or in a cocktail.
|Blackberries||About 1 Lb (450g)|
|White Sugar||About 1 Lb 5oz (600g)|
|Good Quality Vodka||About 1 1/3 Pint (750ml)|
|Water||Just Under ½ Pint (250ml)|
|Cling Film||6 Sq.in (ca.15cm²)|
**I put some of the liquid into a small bottle which can be sampled separately to determine whether the taste is suitable, without having to open one of the other larger bottles.