Cassis making

Friday Lush: Creme de Cassis

I am powerless against a Kir Royale; sparkling wine topped with blackcurrant liqueur.  It shouts of celebration, gatherings and friends gathered around.  A Christmas, birthday, New Year kind of affair.

My children brought home a large punnet of blackcurrants last week from a trip to a pick-your-own farm with their grandparents and my first thought was: cassis.  I felt a bit bad using all their hard labour picked fruit to make something they couldn’t have so I compromised and saved half for a pie.  What a sparkling example of a good mother I am.

Cassis was traditionally a French speciality but it’s produced here in the UK too.  Blackcurrant season runs between July and August so now’s the time to get picking and bottling.  I used gin to make mine, because I love gin and I would put gin in anything I could get away with, but vodka is a traditional base as is brandy.  I made this using a recipe from the ever faithful Good Housekeeping Preserves by Joanna Farrow.

This is no quick recipe as a bottle started now will not be ready to add the sugar until next January and then it needs to mature for a further six months.  Good things come to those who wait though.

Cassis

Prep time 20 minutes
Meal type Beverage
From book Good Housekeeping Preserves by Joanna Farrow

What you will need

  • 500g blackcurrants (washed and with any stalks removed)
  • 600ml gin, vodka or brandy
  • sugar

Instructions

Step 1 Crush the blackcurrants with a potato masher in a sterilized jar, I used a clip top Parfait jar but any kind of Kilner / Mason jar is good
Step 2 Pour in the alcohol. Leave in a dark place for 2 months
Step 3 Strain the liquid and add 175g / 6oz sugar to each 600ml of liquid
Step 4 Pour into a jug and cover. Leave for 2 days, stirring every once in a while to make sure the sugar is dissolved.
Step 5 Strain through muslin. Bottle and then store for around 6 months to mature before adding to sparkling wine for Kir Royale or poured over ice cream. It's worth the wait my friends

 

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