Last summer I was a blackberry fiend, picking more than 40 pounds of wild blackberries. From most of those berries I made far more jars of jam than I’ll eat, which makes them ideal for gifting, and a few jars of blackberry sauce that I could fall into and happily drown. That left one large bag of berries still in the freezer, calling out to be made into something easy and summery in the middle of this cold winter.
Because I’m on a big organizing spree, I don’t want to can anything right now. The prospect of hauling out canning equipment and then waiting for jars cool on the counter just doesn’t appeal to me right now. Clear counters are so pretty; I want to enjoy them a while longer and still have the satisfaction of having made something delicious to enjoy later. Last year I made a small batch of blackberry brandy that has aged perfectly. It’s a good thing to do with fruit when you’re already up to your eyeballs in jam and can’t face another jar.
Here’s the basic recipe. (I’ve played with it a bit in the past, using more berries, granulated sugar, and letting it sit for about a month longer.)
1 lb. blackberries
8 oz. superfine sugar
1 liter brandy
Combine all three in a gallon jar (or divide it between smaller jars) and stir. Stir it again once a week or so for the next two months. Strain, bottle, drink.
This batch of blackberry brandy won’t be ready until we’re well into spring, when we’ll lift our glasses of summer to toast the passing of winter.