Raise your hand if you go a little overboard buying ripe in-season berries at the farmers market or grocery store. I do!
Sadly, peak berry season is always too short. So a few years back, I started making liqueurs using the bounty of fresh berries to keep on hand for when I needed a berry fix. If I can’t eat them fresh, an infused liqueur makes for a delicious alternative.
It’s also super easy! The hardest part about making this liqueur is the waiting while it steeps (about 4 weeks), but it’s well worth it.
What's Raspberry Liqueur?
A liqueur is a sweetened liquor with added flavorings like coffee, walnuts, or fresh fruits. For this recipe, raspberries are macerated with sugar and vodka (and a vanilla bean pod, if you’d like) to draw out the fruit’s natural juices.
The mixture then sits for four weeks, during which the flavors from the raspberries and vanilla are infused into the vodka. Because you are not using any pressure to force the flavors out, this slow process of extraction ensures that all the flavors will be infused into the liqueur.
After four weeks, the mixture is strained. The resulting liqueur is a zippy, raspberry-flavored beverage that can be sipped neat on its own or enjoyed in a myriad of cocktails. Add a splash of it to your next margarita, daiquiri, or gin and tonic for a burst of summer berry flavor.
Tips for Making Raspberry Liqueur
Depending on factors like the season or your location, raspberries can vary in sweetness. This recipe calls for a moderate amount of sugar, but I encourage you to taste the raspberries to gauge their sweetness and adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
For Tart Berries: Add an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar per pint. After macerating the raspberries in the sugar and vodka, taste and adjust again if needed.
For Sweet Berries: Reduce the sugar by a tablespoon per pint.
Since the raspberry mixture needs to be agitated every few days, keep it where you’ll see it (but out of direct sunlight). I keep mine in my pantry where it will catch my eye. And since I’m in there at least once a day, I always notice it and give it a gentle shake. If you think you’ll forget, create a calendar reminder!
How to Store the Raspberry Liqueur
Choose an airtight, nonreactive (stainless steel, glass, or ceramic) container for making and storing the raspberry liqueur. I have lots of lidded mason jars in a variety of sizes on hand for making liqueurs. A twist- or swing-top bottle works too.
I find that when the lid is tightly twisted on, mason jars do a great job of keeping everything airtight. You do not want to swish a jar around only to find the cap wasn’t on tight, or worse, discover creepy crawler friends that found their way inside!
Tips for Straining Liqueur
Once the mixture has steeped for four weeks, strain it to remove the raspberry pulp and seeds. A nut milk bag does an excellent job of straining on its own, but I like to place it over a fine mesh strainer then pour the liqueur through both as an additional layer.
Alternatively, you can stack several sheets of fine cheesecloth or a tea towel over the fine mesh strainer. You may have to strain it multiple times. In the end, the liqueur should be tinted, but clear.
Make It Your Favorite In-Season Fruit Liqueur
If you enjoy the sweet, tart taste of raspberries in a liqueur, don’t stop there! Try this recipe with strawberries, plums, peaches, or any of your favorite spring or summer fruits. It’s a delicious way to savor the flavor of in-season fruits for longer.
More Homemade Liqueur Recipes to Try
- Homemade Coffee Liqueur
- Homemade Nocino Walnut Liqueur
- Homemade Campari
- How to Make Vanilla Extract
- Crema di Limoncello
This recipe requires a minimum of four weeks steeping time.
4 pints raspberries
2 cups sugar
3 cups vodka
1 vanilla bean, optional
Macerate the raspberries:
In a large nonreactive bowl, mash the raspberries and sugar together. I like to use a potato masher for this, but a large fork will also get the job done. Let the mixture sit on the counter for an hour loosely covered with a tea towel. The sugar will dissolve.
Add the remaining ingredients:
Stir in the vodka and carefully transfer the mixture into an airtight container that can be shaken, like a large, lidded mason jar or screw-top liquor bottle.
If using, cut the vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise, and add it to the mixture. Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dark place.
Steep the raspberry mixture:
Every two to three days, gently shake the jar to stir the mixture, which should steep for a total of four weeks.
Strain the liqueur:
After four weeks, strain the mixture. Set a fine mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheese cloth or use a nut milk bag set over a non-reactive bowl or large measuring cup. Pour the mixture through the cheese cloth or milk bag. You may need to strain it more than once, until the liqueur is clear and free of any seeds or pulp.
Pour the strained liqueur into a clean airtight container, like a glass swing top bottle or mason jar.
Serve or store the liqueur:
It can be served straight away to mix in cocktails or with club soda. You can also store it in a cool, dark place for up to two weeks. It will become mellower, especially if you used a high-proof vodka.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 14g|
|Vitamin C 10mg||51%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|