Black Currant Vodka

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The Apricot Gin recipe I posted two weeks ago led to very interesting discussions about home liquor making with Charles from 5 Euro Food. They resulted in his first experience with a very promising Cherry Brandy and made me feel like making more fruit liquors this Summer.

Browsing through forums and websites I realised most home liquor makers cited blackcurrant vodka among their most successful and palatable productions. I have also read that blackcurrant vodka has healing properties. It is supposed to regulate digestion, cure the throat ache and even help with respiratory problems. Needless to say, I have very high expectations of this miraculous beverage!

This method, a classical two-stage process,  needs a bit more attention than the Apricot Gin. As all the home-made liquors this one requires patience and since after the final filtering it has to be left untouched for at least 3 months, I strongly advise keeping it in a closed place when it can easily be forgotten. It will of course improve with time!

After two days, the opened jar already spreads an enticing fabulous aroma, the most beautiful I have ever experienced with a home-made liquor. I am looking forward to see the changes in a couple of months!

Update: Having tasted the vodka during the the last stage, e.i. bottling, I must say it’s breathtaking! It’s tangy, but not too sour, elegant and the high alcohol content is imperceptible. I cannot imagine what it will taste like in three months’ time.

Update 2: I lack words to describe it. This is definitely the best infused vodka I have ever made. It’s even the best home-made alcohol I have ever tasted. Next year I will make several big batches.

Preparation: min. 4,5  months

Ingredients:

600-700g black currants

700 ml white vodka (or 90% alcohol diluted by half with boiled and cooled water, kept together for two days before the fruit addition)

150 g sugar

150 ml water

Remove the black currant stems and dry ends (this can be a bit time-consuming and the best method is to use small scissors). Put them in a big jar and cover with vodka.

Leave in a warm place for 6 weeks.

Drain the infused vodka and pour into another big jar.

Make a syrup boiling the water with the sugar.

Pour the cooled syrup over the infused vodka.

/Do not throw away the fruit! Either use it in a cake or pour some more alcohol and make a “secondary” vodka infusion./

Leave the vodka and syrup mixture for one week in a dark place.

Filter through a coffee filter or a piece of gauze folded into 4 pieces.

Pour into a bottle, close it tightly and do not taste before 3 months.

Black Currant Vodka on Punk Domestics

38 thoughts on “Black Currant Vodka

  1. Mr. Three-Cookies

    Its Friday and the boozy recipes are coming out:) This of course sounds great, though 3 months is a long time to wait. I am sure your patience will be well rewarded. This recipe sounds more flavourful and sweet in comparison to the flavoured vodkas you can buy.

    And of course vodka has healing properties, any Russian will tell you that:)

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. I hope my patience will be awarded too! It certainly smells 100 x better than the famous vodka brand flavoured with black currant.
      You are right, now that I think… I always think about the “boozy” recipes on Friday 😉

  2. Charles

    Thanks for the pingback Sissi! I’m not a huge fan of vodka, although I think I probably would be if it was a bit sweeter. This looks like it might be just up my street! If only I could find blackcurrants in France though. It seems they’re really difficult to find, and I can only ever find redcurrants :( My mother was telling me just yesterday that they have a big bush dripping with fresh blackcurrants in their garden right now so I can’t wait to eat some when I go home in a couple of weeks!

    1. Sissi Post author

      It’s natural, Charles! I couldn’t have omitted the main reason why I made this liqueur! Otherwise, I would have probably missed the black currant season again this year…
      I never drink vodka either. I use it in cocktails (like most strong alcohols). It’s perfect for certain delicate mixtures, since it doesn’t alter much the taste.
      They must have lots of black currants in Dijon, where they make the famous crème de cassis 😉 , but seriously I am surprised you don’t find it in Paris… It’s not very popular, I must admit, but I saw it several times on the French market I go to. You can bring some black currants from England! (I can give you tips on how to transport delicate fruit in a cabin luggage 😉 )

      1. Charles

        I’ll take a look at my local market this Sunday – they definitely don’t have them in any of the big stores nearby, so fingers crossed! I’ll be driving back to England, so this time I won’t need to worry about stuffing hundreds of euros worth of food and stuff into tiny bags 😀 My blackcurrants will be able to travel in comfort… as long as my parents didn’t eat them all already :/

        1. Sissi Post author

          Take some currant leaves too! If you want to make a liqueur, apparently black currant leaves give a wonderful aroma and taste (although the recipe I found with leaves and fruits is a bit different from this one). In general, added to certain vinegar pickles, black currant leaves improve the taste (that is what I have heard, since I don’t have any access to them and never tried it).

      2. Charles

        By the way Sissi – I noticed a link to volume/weight conversion on the side of your site. Would you be at all interested in a small piece of software for PC which converts between cups and grams?

        1. Sissi Post author

          Thank you Charles! It’s very kind of you! I would be interested of course! (unless it doesn’t work with Mac…)

          1. Charles

            Oh noes! A mac user?!?! :( I’m making it only for Windows unfortunately, at least at the moment, but I just signed up to a new web-host – one which runs Windows servers instead of Linux servers so it means I can develop a web application as well to run from a website. If it proves useful maybe I’ll try and port it to Android phones later. I got sick of having to navigate to a site, click so many things every time I just want to convert 3 cups of Rice to Grams and so forth so I started to build my own small program. I’ll make a post about it on my site sometime soon 😉

            1. Sissi Post author

              Charles, I didn’t know you developed programs! I also hate going to websites and checking, I tried to find a plugin or application to include a calculator in my website, but haven’t managed… I also have a conversion table in my kitchen… I have switched to Macintosh many, many years ago and it was a love at first sight. Now I cannot even stand the PC keyboard :-) If you have anything I could use on my website or on my Mac, please remember me!

  3. Jeno @ Week Nite Meals

    Sissi, I am not sure whether I’ve seen black current at Houston area, maybe they do have it in the markets I’ve just never paid much attention. Just the way you describe the smell make me want to sample a little bit of the finished liqueur. The cherry brandy sounds fab also! Have a great weekend!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Jeno! Next time when you see small berries similar to blueberries, but even blacker, just put your nose closer and you will recognise them immediately! Have a great weekend too!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Angie, they are also quite expensive in Switzerland, but 600 grams make a huge bottle of a very strong vodka which will be drunk in cocktails or in tiny glasses :-)
      I have also made a red currant version, but it requires much more sugar. Same method! Let me know if you need any help!

  4. Greg

    That sounds fantastic! You must have the best liquor cabinet. What do you make with it? Bet it makes fabulous martinis.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Greg! I started making liquors last year and since then have made only a couple of bottles. I usually drink in small glasses or mix them in cocktails (I have already used my mandarin peel vodka instead of Cointreau and it worked!). The sour cherry one disappears so quickly (I drink it in shots), I try not to look at it too often!
      Apart from this, the home made liquors make wonderful gifts (like home-made jams or other preserves).
      I hope the black currant vodka will be the best! I will use it instead of crème de cassis (or just shots if it’s too good to be mixed!).

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you Laura! It’s true, I have been building up my home liquor collection since last year… I am never short of drink ideas when friends come :-)

    1. Sissi Post author

      I have no patience either, that is why I always hide bottles and when I have to filter or add sugar, I try to do this in the morning (then I’d rather have a cup of coffee than a shot of my liquor!).

  5. Shilpa Sharma

    Wow! clever you….I can imagine these things in a perfect farmers outlet….home made liquors, jams and preserves…That’s why I love visiting your space…everytime, there is something new and interesting…curd cheese biscuits just caught my eye…so, I am now hopping off to that page.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Dear Shilpa, in this rainy, cold weather, your comment is like a little ray of sunshine :-) Thank you for the compliments!

    1. Sissi Post author

      I love black currant flavoured vodka and shamelessly expect this liquor to taste even better!

  6. Robert-Gilles Martineau

    Dear Sissi!
    Greetings!
    No wonder you were interested in home liqueurs!
    Black Currants are a specialty of my birthplace, Dijon!
    Not easy to find them here although we are trying to convince some growers to tackle them!
    Grest recipe!
    But you are unfair, too! LOL
    Best regards,
    Robert-Gilles

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Robert-Gilles! Don’t worry, I am not trying to reproduce crème de cassis 😉 I hope to obtain something between crème de cassis and a blackcurrant flavoured vodka. About being unfair… I don’t know if it will cheer you up, but you have ume plums!

  7. kankana

    Wow Sissi I am totally loving this. Infusing vodka makes it double the fun and I have always enjoyed it. I should try this too! :)

  8. Sara

    I wish it was easier to find currants here. I read that they are not much cultivated in the US because they harbor a particular pest that destroys native trees, at least in certain regions. I learned this because I tried to buy a currant bush for our backyard and learned I was not permitted to do so based on my geography. I’m glad the native trees are being looked after, but sad that it’s hard to find currants (they are very expensive in the store, at least fresh).

    1. Sissi Post author

      I am so sorry for you… It’s an extremely weird policy… How can anyone decide what is better currants or native trees? And then I’m sure genetically manipulated currants are available too… Good news is you can make this vodka with frozen currants! I made a sour cherry vodka with frozen fruit and it’s simply divine!

  9. Bea

    No prosze, nie zauwazylam ze i u Ciebie sa likiery / nalewki! Ja taz mam kilka, ale ciagle jest cos ‘pilniejszego’ do wstawienia… :/

    Czy to o tym zdjeciu wspominalas? Jesli tak, to nie zapominaj, ze zdjecia wszystkiego co ‘sloiczkowe’ i ‘plynno-blyszczace’ nie sa latwe do zrobienia, wiec czasami faktycznie – tak jak pisalas – trzeba spedzic przy nich wiecej czasu. Co czesto baaardzo mnie denerwuje 😉

    Pozdrawiam!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Bea, robie tylko nalewki bardziej lub mnie slodkie, ale raczej mniej 😉 (liquor-alkohol, liqueur-likier, ale bardzo wielu osobom to sie myli i w ogole o problemach tlumaczeniowych terminu “nalewka” doktorat bym mogla napisac…
      To wlasnie to zdjecie okropne. Poczekam do filtracji i wtedy moze w ladnej buteleczce zrobie i podmienie :-)

  10. A_Boleyn

    I clicked the link on your current black currant (see how that rhymes) mousse post just to look at the picture. I have a bottle of creme de cassis in my pantry, which I should really drink more of or use in my cooking) just because I like it so much. Especially in a kir. With champagne if I can afford it, but it’s usually one of the non-French versions, but it’s good with still white wine as well.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Great pun, A_Boleyn 😉 Thank you so much! I use my black currant vodka the way I would use crème de cassis actually. It’s not as sweet but at least equally aromatic and delicious. Well, as much as I see kir a way to save not so good white wine (especially when I’m in a bar or café which serves mediocre wines but I feel like having one), I would never mix crème de cassis with champagne (unless it was bad, but then I would prefer to buy good white wine instead, given the price 😉 ).

      1. A_Boleyn

        I usually buy Freixenet and Cava which aren’t too sweet to start with if I’m in the mood for a sparkling wine so a bit of creme de cassis doesn’t have a great effect on the sugar level. I HAVE tried the sweeter Italian sparkling wines like Prosecco. The local LCBO just stocks the most well known brands. If I drink real champagne, it’s usually brut, nothing drier.

        1. Sissi Post author

          Oh, I see now. I wouldn’t mind experimenting with Cava or Freixenet this way either. I was just talking about real champagne which is really expensive 😉

    1. Sissi Post author

      I don’t buy it often either, but it’s obligatory for New Year’s Eve and some major occasions (rare alas) to celebrate something important.

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