The perfect holiday blackcurrant booze

12 picking fruit for liqueur 1Peril in the potager. Well, there isn’t that much peril in my potager.  But picking soft fruit while wearing a white t shirt and pale trousers is about as close as you get to the equivalent of running with scissors.

Here is one kilogram of blackcurrants ready for my cassis liqueur. And not a stain on the clothes. Result!

All those years of ordering the perfect aperitif drink white wine and cassis: a kir in French cafes and little did I know that the kir – the blackcurrant liqueur – was so easy to make.

I leave the white wine and champagne making for the experts.12 pouring the sugar

The champagne and cassis – kir royale is definitely for birthdays and times when someone else is going to pick up the hefty bar bill.   But anyone can make blackcurrant liqueur. Or call it cassis and pretend it comes from Burgundy, the traditional home of the oily unctuous stuff.

The only time-consuming part of this drink is the time it takes for the fruit and booze and sugar to mingle and get to know each other in a tall jar in a dark spot.  If I pick in summer, then I leave it four to five months before decanting and serving; Christmas time makes it a perfect moment to broach your first batch.

12 the blackcurrant jarThe brandy (or cognac, as we are in France) needn’t be expensive. Reach down to the lowest part of the booze shelf in the supermarket to pick up the cheapo bottles. And no need to destalk the blackcurrants. I just bung them into the jar with bits attached. I do wash the fruit however; just to remove the risk of bugs.


Blackcurrant liqueur


900 grams (2lbs) blackcurrants, well washed
600 mls (1 pint) brandy (cognac)
350 grams (12 oz) granulated sugar