We were fortunate to have a large patch of raspberry canes already established when we took on our plot. Both summer and autumn varieties jumbled together with thick clumps of weeds and a small, unloved asparagus bed. Tidying up that lot is still on the to-do list but, despite the clutter, we’ve already picked lots of ripe fruit.
Raspberries are a fantastic fruit for the home brewer being the key ingredient in a number of wine, liqueur and even beer recipes. And the first boozy brew to paint the plot red with is raspberry vodka.
Our raspberry vodka recipe
Unless you’re a vodka connoisseur, stick with the cheap stuff. It’s the berries that do the work here. And the firm but ripe berries have a better flavour than the soft, squidgy, darker fruit. For each 70cl bottle of vodka you’ll need 100g of raspberries and between 110g and 120g of sugar depending on taste. I go for the lower end because I prefer my fruity drinks slightly on the tart side (and it’s easier to add sugar than to take it away after an initial tasting).
From here it’s easy – simply put the ingredients into clean, sterilised jars or bottles with tight fitting lids and give them a shake every day for three months (although if you forget to shake on some days, or even weeks, it’s not the end of the world). The vodka will taste pretty good after three months, when you can top up with more sugar if required, but you should ideally try to hold on for six months before bottling ready to drink. It will then continue to improve with age.
For an equally delicious raspberry gin follow the same instructions above but use gin instead of vodka.