Thursday, December 6, 2012

Decanting the Blueberry Cordial and Blackberry & Raspberry Brandies

For those of you who follow my blog, you may remember that I put up some cordials and Brandies in August from Berries I picked or bought locally. Some of the Blueberries and Raspberries are from my own yard and the rest were picked or sourced in New Hampshire while on two separate berry gathering trips last summer. I documented the making of them athttp://www.gloucestergourmet.com/2012/08/making-blueberry-cordial-and-blackberry.html 
It is now over three months since mixing the brandy and vodka in with the berries and it was time to decant some of the stuff for Holiday Gifts.  I use some funnels I got at the Dollar Store and use a coffee filter to separate the liquid from the berries. I tried doing the berries, whole, in some of my experiments and in others I used a blender to blend the berries into the alcohol. I have to say that the blenderized berries decanter quickly and I got more liquid out of the bath. The whole berries are a bit harder to decant, I know some people like to re-use those berries for baking, fruit salads, or putting over ice cream. I am not a huge fan, I tried the whole berry technique and I have to say that the blenderized berries worked better for me.
with the Brandies to give it a little Sweetness. I heated the honey slightly and poured it into the bottle with the brandies and gave it a good shake. The Blueberry Cordial already had sugar mixed in it so all I had to do was decant that into a bottles.

Raspberry and Blackberry Brandy in a Snifter

  I serve the Brandies in snifters and sometimes heat the Brandy a bit first to release the aromas. A heated and flavored Brandy in a snifter on a cold evening is fantastic. The color is ruby red and the flavor is sublime.

People ask me about serving the Blueberry Cordial. I use it as an after dinner drink when I have company and I serve it in small crystal glasses. Since it is basically flavored Vodka, you could easily shake it with some ice and serve it straight up in a martini glass as a cocktail. Blueberry Freeze Cosmo or something. 
Small Waterford Crystal Glass with Blueberry Cordial 


This makes a fantastic gift during the holidays or you may just want to keep it for yourself! Last summer I found some pretty decanters to give as gifts with it too.  It is best to let the fruit soak in the alcohol for 3 months as it imparts the best flavors that way. 

RECIPES:

Blueberry Cordial
Glass Quart Jar container
2 cups Vodka
1-2 cups Chopped Blueberries (I put them thru the food processor on a quick pulse)
1 cup Sugar

Mix together and shake every couple of days for 2 months, strain thru cheese cloth or coffee filter and then decant into a pretty decanter or glass container. Serve in small crystal glasses as an after dinner drink. You can also flavor a champagne or sparkling wine cocktail with a bit of the Blueberry Cordial.
This makes a fantastic Holiday Gift and now is the time to plan it when berries are in season. I know you can make it with frozen berries in a pinch but what could be better than your own hand picked Blueberry Cordial. I happen to know that the berries I picked in New Hampshire were Organic which is a nice thing too!

Blackberry Brandy
Glass Quart Jar container
2 cups of Brandy
1-2 cups of chopped blackberries (I put them thru the food processor on a quick pulse)
optional: You can add sugar to this if desired or you can wait and flavor to taste with a sugar syrup after the two months of shaking. Personally, I don't really like sugar in my brandy and enjoy the tart Blackberry taste without it. It is a matter of personal taste.

Mix together and shake every couple of days for two months, strain they a cheese cloth or coffee filter and then decant into a pretty glass container. Serve in Brandy Snifters. You can warm the Blackberry Brandy and serve it in the snifter warm. It is really a wonderful after dinner drink! The Warmed Blackberry Brandy is the perfect dark winter drink after a wonderful meal, best enjoyed in front of a roaring fire!