homemade liqueur recipe

Homemade Strawberry Liqueur

Strawberry Liqueur

This strawberry liqueur is like summer in a bottle. I make a lot of different liqueurs and strawberry is one of my absolute favorites. It is wonderful for sipping or over ice. It is also a fun addition to any number of cocktails. A friend adds it to ice cream with extra berries and blends it up for an adult strawberry milkshake.

With strawberries in season, this is the time of year to enjoy them. I want to preserve some for later, too. I made strawberry jam and dehydrated some. I will also freeze some.

Another way to preserve strawberries, is by making a liqueur with them.  It is pretty simple. Just combine berries with vodka and a small amount of powdered sugar. I use half gallon canning jars for this, but you could use any food safe container with a tight fitting lid.

Let the mixture steep long enough for the berries to infuse the alcohol with their flavor. You can sweeten it later on, or even leave it unsweetened, if you prefer. I like to sip the liqueur as is, or serve on the rocks with a splash of club soda.

Strawberry Liqueur

3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

3 T. powdered sugar

3 c. vodka

1 c. simple syrup*

Sprinkle powdered sugar over berries and let dissolve. Pour over vodka and let steep 2 weeks. Crush berries and strain then filter. Add sugar syrup and mature 1 week. Makes 5 cups.

*Simple syrup is made from 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cool. You will have 1 cup of syrup. You can sweeten your liqueur with honey, if you prefer. Watch when you substitute honey for sugar, as it is sweeter and stronger flavored. Better to use orange or clover honey. Add to suit your taste.

Elderflower Liqueur

Elderberry flowers

I make a lot of different liqueurs, most of which are fruit based. This one is quite different. This liqueur is made from the flowers of elderberry bushes. It has a sweet, slightly spicy flavor. Since my elderberry is blooming, it is time to harvest some of the blossoms and get started. They will been steeped in vodka- gin also works- then strained and sweetened. Could not be easier.

It is important to use ONLY THE BLOSSOMS. Elderberry stems and branches are toxic. It takes a few extra minutes, but get those flowers off the stems. Here is the recipe, with a few notes on options for sweetness levels.

Elderflowers steeping in vodka

Elderflower Liqueur

10 elderflower blossoms, about 1 cup of flowers, stems removed

2 c. vodka or gin

1/4 -1/2 c. sugar*

Remove all the flowers from the stems. They are small and it seems tedious, but it is important to get as many stem pieces off as possible. Place in a clean jar and pour over the alcohol. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid and place in a cool dark place for at least a week or two. Strain out the flowers, using several layers of cheesecloth to get the liquid as clear as possible. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Return to jar, cover and let sit a few days before checking sweetness levels. You might want to add a little more sugar. Place in a pretty bottle and store in a dark place. Enjoy!! Makes 2 cups.

*You can add a lot more sugar, creating more of an elderflower cordial or syrup. It’s all about personal preference and how you want to use the liqueur. Add in 1/4 cup amounts, stirring to dissolve before adding more.

Cranberry Liqueur

Cranberry Liqueur

You can do more with cranberries than make sauce. Not that I don’t like cranberry sauce, I do. I love cranberry season and find myself using them in all sorts of recipes.

In the next couple of weeks, I will be posting homemade gift ideas. This is one of my favorites!!

I got the recipe from my sister Cindy, many years ago. It is also called Cranberry Bounce. If you start a batch now, it will be ready to drink, and for gifting, in just a couple of weeks.

Cranberries, sugar and vodka. What a great combination. It’s simple to make and it makes a nice gift, too.

The color is absolutely beautiful. The sweet/tart finished product can be enjoyed by just sipping, on the rocks, or mixed with club soda. It can also be a nice addition to all sorts of cocktails.

Often after Thanksgiving, the price of cranberries goes down. I stock up on them, freeze some and make a batch, or two of cranberry liqueur. This year, even before Thanksgiving, I found a few bargains. .

I hope you give it a try. I am sure you will be pleased with the results.

Cranberry Liqueur

1 lb. fresh cranberries (most bags are 12 oz.)

2 c. sugar

4 c. vodka- at least 80 proof

Grind berries fine in food mill or food processor. Place in large jar and combine with the sugar. Let stand, covered until sugar is dissolved completely, several hours or overnight. Add vodka and let steep 1-3 weeks, stirring occasionally. Strain and filter. Makes 5 cups.

Note: Drained cranberries can be saved in fridge and used, sparingly, in desserts, fruit salads and on cake or ice cream. They do pack a punch.

Homemade Raspberry Liqueur

Raspberry Liqueur

I make a lot of different liqueurs. Raspberry liqueur is probably one of my favorites. It reminds me of a warm summer afternoon.

I love raspberries. My parents had a row of raspberry bushes at the back of the yard, so I grew up enjoying them fresh. I preserve raspberries to enjoy all year long.  I freeze berries, make jams and jellies and dehydrate some.

I also enjoy  using some to make homemade raspberry liqueur. You just start with alcohol – I  most often use vodka – then you add raspberries. I sweeten it later on, but you can leave it unsweetened, if you prefer.

Its beautiful color and great flavor make it nice for sipping, or used in mixed drinks. Think of it as just another food preservation method. Here is the recipe, in case you want to make it. Makes a great gift, too.

You can use fresh or frozen berries. You can also use black , purple or golden raspberries in this recipe.

Homemade Raspberry Liqueur

1 lb. raspberries*
3 c. vodka, you could use brandy
1 ¼ c. sugar
Combine fruit and vodka and let stand 2 -4 weeks. Stir in sugar and age 3 months. Strain and filter. Makes 3-4 cups.

*You can use frozen berries, too.

Homemade Blueberry Liqueur

Blueberry Liqueur

I always stock up on blueberries when they are in season. I end up with a lot of frozen berries to enjoy throughout the year. I was cleaning out the freezer awhile ago, and decided to use some of my frozen berries to make blueberry liqueur.

After steeping for several months, I strained out the blueberries last night. I ended up making two different liqueurs. One is unsweetened- just blueberries, vodka, lemon zest and a clove. It is sometimes called an eau de vie- French for water of life- or blueberry vodka. It is one of my favorites for making all sorts of cocktails.

The other was sweetened a little with a sugar syrup- but you could use honey. That is blueberry liqueur or blueberry cordial. It will be allowed to mature for a couple of weeks.

Both are wonderful.

The color is so pretty and they can be sipped, as is, or used in cocktails.  You can use other berries, if you prefer.

I look forward to enjoying these with friends and family. Soon!!

 Blueberry Liqueur

4-c. fresh or frozen blueberries
Sliced and scraped peel of one lemon, optional
1 clove, optional
3-c. vodka or 2 c. vodka and 1 c. brandy
1 c. sugar syrup, optional, recipe follows

Lightly crush berries with a fork. Combine with peels and clove and vodka and steep 3 months. Strain and filter and add sugar syrup. Mature 4-6 weeks.

Sugar Syrup

Simple syrup is made from 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cool. You will have 1 cup of syrup. Some recipes call for plain sugar and others for honey. Watch when you substitute honey for sugar, as it is sweeter and stronger flavored. Better to use orange or clover honey.

Elderflower Liqueur

Elderberry flowers

I make a lot of different liqueurs, most of which are fruit based. This one is quite different. This liqueur is made from the flowers of elderberry bushes. It has a sweet, slightly spicy flavor. Since my elderberry is blooming, it is time to harvest some of the blossoms and get started. They will been steeped in vodka- gin also works- then strained and sweetened. Could not be easier.

It is important to use ONLY THE BLOSSOMS. Elderberry stems and branches are toxic. It takes a few extra minutes, but get those flowers off the stems. Here is the recipe, with a few notes on options for sweetness levels.

Elderflowers steeping in vodka

Elderflower Liqueur

10 elderflower blossoms

2 c. vodka or gin

1/4 -1/2 c. sugar*

Remove all the flowers from the stems. They are small and it seems tedious, but it is important to get as many stem pieces off as possible. Place in a clean jar and pour over the alcohol. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid and place in a cool dark place for at least a week or two. Strain out the flowers, using several layers of cheesecloth to get the liquid as clear as possible. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Return to jar, cover and let sit a few days before checking sweetness levels. You might want to add a little more sugar. Place in a pretty bottle and store in a dark place. Enjoy!! Makes 2 cups.

*You can add a lot more sugar, creating more of an elderflower cordial or syrup. It’s all about personal preference and how you want to use the liqueur. Add in 1/4 cup amounts, stirring to dissolve before adding more.

Cherry Liqueur

Cherry Liqueur

I make a lot of homemade liqueurs, but cherry is one of my favorites. I enjoy just sipping it, or adding it to other cocktails or mixing it with soda water.

It is easy, and the reward is having this lovely liqueur to enjoy even when cherries aren’t in season. I added a couple of vanilla beans to mine, but you can leave them out, if you prefer. You could also add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

If you like a less sweet liqueur, you can add less sugar. You could use sour cherries instead.

Cherry Liqueur

2 c. granulated sugar
4 c. vodka or brandy
1 lb. large, washed, stemmed and pitted sweet cherries
2 (6-7 inch) vanilla beans, broken into several pieces, optional

Place sugar and vodka or brandy in a large jar- I used a half gallon canning jar. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add cherries and vanilla and cover jar. Do not stir. Place in a cool, dark place for 3 months, without stirring or shaking. Strain and filter. Divine! Makes 4-6 cups.

Homemade Strawberry Liqueur

Strawberry Liqueur

This strawberry liqueur is like summer in a bottle. I make a lot of different liqueurs and strawberry is one of my absolute favorites. It is wonderful for sipping or over ice. It is also a fun addition to any number of cocktails. A friend adds it to ice cream with extra berries and blends it up for an adult strawberry milkshake.

With strawberries in season, this is the time of year to enjoy them. I want to preserve some for later, too. I made strawberry jam and dehydrated some. I will also freeze some.

Another way to preserve strawberries, is by making a liqueur with them.  It is pretty simple. Just combine berries with vodka and a small amount of powdered sugar. I use half gallon canning jars for this, but you could use any food safe container with a tight fitting lid.

Let the mixture steep long enough for the berries to infuse the alcohol with their flavor. You can sweeten it later on, or even leave it unsweetened, if you prefer. I like to sip the liqueur as is, or serve on the rocks with a splash of club soda.

Strawberry Liqueur

3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

3 T. powdered sugar

3 c. vodka

1 c. simple syrup*

Sprinkle powdered sugar over berries and let dissolve. Pour over vodka and let steep 2 weeks. Crush berries and strain then filter. Add sugar syrup and mature 1 week. Makes 5 cups.

*Simple syrup is made from 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cool. You will have 1 cup of syrup. You can sweeten your liqueur with honey, if you prefer. Watch when you substitute honey for sugar, as it is sweeter and stronger flavored. Better to use orange or clover honey. Add to suit your taste.

Violet Liqueur

Violets in Vodka

I have received requests for directions on how to make violet liqueur. Violet liqueur is, in its most basic sense, a combination of violets and vodka, steeped together for several weeks, then strained and filtered. Once strained, the mixture is sweetened to taste with simple syrup. You can use other alcohols, if you like. Brandy perhaps.

Violet liqueur can just be sipped and enjoyed as is, but it is often used as an ingredient in cocktails.

I have made violet liqueur with the violets that grow in my yard. They are mostly white, with a small amount of purple color. The liqueur tastes great, but doesn’t have a lot of color. It comes out a light golden color. That is fine with me.

For this batch, I am using purple violets I got from a friend’s garden. The color will end up a light purple color. To make the color of your liqueur more purple, you can add a few raspberries or blackberries to the mix.

We need to talk about sweetening, too. A simple syrup is added to suit your taste. The recipe for simple syrup is at the end of this post. How sweet you make your liqueur determines whether it is a liqueur, or creme de violette. Lightly sweetened and it is violet liqueur. Double the amount of simple syrup and it is creme de violette. Strictly your choice and preference.

If you prefer to leave your violet mixture unsweetened, it is a violet eau du vie, which translates to violet water of life.

I use 1/2 cup of simple syrup for each cup of liqueur. Equal amounts of liqueur and syrup creates the creme de violette.

Violet Liqueur

1- 1 1/2 c. violet flowers, rinsed and drained

1 c. vodka

1″ piece vanilla bean, optional

a few fresh raspberries or blackberries, optional

1/2 c. simple syrup recipe follows

Combine violet flowers and vodka in a jar with vanilla bean and berries, if using. Screw on the lid and place the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks for the flavors to combine. You can add more violets as you harvest them, if you don’t have enough at first. After a few weeks, strain out the flowers and other ingredients and discard them. Filter vodka mixture through coffee filters or several layers of cheesecloth to get it really clear. Sweeten to taste. Return to jar, seal and allow flavors to mellow another week. Enjoy!!

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is made from 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cool. You will have 1 cup of syrup. You can sweeten with honey, if you prefer. Watch when you substitute honey for sugar, as it is sweeter and stronger flavored. Add a small amount, let it sit for a day or so- and give it a taste. You can always add more sweetener later.

Cranberry Liqueur

Cranberry Liqueur

You can do more with cranberries than make sauce. Not that I don’t like cranberry sauce, I do. I love cranberry season and find myself using them in all sorts of recipes.

In the next couple of weeks, I will be posting homemade gift ideas. This is one of my favorites!!

I got the recipe from my sister Cindy, many years ago. It is also called Cranberry Bounce. If you start a batch now, it will be ready to drink, and for gifting, in just a couple of weeks.

Cranberries, sugar and vodka. What a great combination. It’s simple to make and it makes a nice gift, too.

The color is absolutely beautiful. The sweet/tart finished product can be enjoyed by just sipping, on the rocks, or mixed with club soda. It can also be a nice addition to all sorts of cocktails.

Often after Thanksgiving, the price of cranberries goes down. I stock up on them, freeze some and make a batch, or two of cranberry liqueur. This year, even before Thanksgiving, I found a few bargains. .

I hope you give it a try. I am sure you will be pleased with the results.

Cranberry Liqueur

1 lb. fresh cranberries (most bags are 12 oz.)

2 c. sugar

4 c. vodka- at least 80 proof

Grind berries fine in food mill or food processor. Place in large jar and combine with the sugar. Let stand, covered until sugar is dissolved completely, several hours or overnight. Add vodka and let steep 1-3 weeks, stirring occasionally. Strain and filter. Makes 5 cups.

Note: Drained cranberries can be saved in fridge and used, sparingly, in desserts, fruit salads and on cake or ice cream. They do pack a punch.

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