Episode 077 Homemade Liqueurs

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What’s shakin, cocktail fans?

Welcome back to another episode of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast!

This episode is a timely discussion of one of the most giftable and delicious DIY projects you can undertake: creating your own fruit liqueur. It’s a bit more complicated than a syrup, but if you follow the proper steps, you’ll be delighted with how tasty your creations can turn out.

In this interview with Sue Rose, some of the topics we discuss include:

  • How we picked our project and sourced the initial ingredients

  • What logistical steps to take to ensure that you produce a delicious and shelf stable liqueur.

  • How to determine which online recipes are legit, and which are just in it for the Insta.

  • Thoughts on assorted topics like Armagnac, brix, bottle design, and long-distance collaborations

  • And much, much more.


You’ll have a bunch of opportunities over the next few weeks to come hang out with me and the rest of the Modern Bar Cart team, live and in-person at some great holiday markets here in the Washington, DC area. Every Saturday and Sunday between now and December 16, 2018, we’ll be hitting the road to bring you the very best holiday gifts for the cocktail lover in your life.

URBN Market Holiday Pop-Up

On Saturday, December 1, we’ll be popping up at the Mosaic District for the URBN Market at holiday pop-up. That takes place from 11am-4pm in Fairfax, VA.

Wundergarden at NoMA

And then on Sunday, December 2, we’ll be live and in person at the Wundergarten located in the NoMA neighborhood of DC - just a couple blocks from the NoMA metro stop. That is going to be our home base for the rest of the holiday season - so come and visit us anytime between Noon and 8pm for the next 3 Saturdays and Sundays, grab a beer at the excellent indoor beer garden, come sample our fantastic cocktail mixers, and check out our newest product releases, including our Shower Mule and Shower Negroni body bars. We hope to see you there.

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Pre-Order Your Essential Tasting Journal

There’s less than a week left of the Kickstarter campaign for The Essential Tasting Journal for Spirits & Cocktails. So, if you want to be the first to receive your SIGNED first edition copy, please head over to our Kickstarter page and pre-order yours ASAP.

Featured Cocktail: The Whiskey Bramble

This week’s featured cocktail is a blast from the summery past. You remember summer, right? Well, in keeping with the subject of this episode, which is homemade fruit liqueurs, I wanted to feature perhaps the most iconic summer cocktails: the whiskey bramble. This cocktail - to be fair - can be enjoyed any time of year, but there’s just something about it that lends itself to front porch sipping on a warm summer evening.

This cocktail contains an important ingredient: creme de mur, which means, roughly translated, “nectar of the woods.” It’s a French blackberry liqueur, and it’s sort of the basis the DIY project we talk about in this episode.

To make a whiskey bramble, you’ll need:

  • 2 oz Whiskey

  • ¾ oz Lemon Juice

  • ½ oz Simple Syrup

  • ¾ oz creme de mur

This is a cocktail that you build right in the glass, and it’s important to use crushed ice here if you have it available. So fill a nice double rocks glass with crushed ice, add your whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Give that bad boy a quick stir. Then carefully drizzle the creme de mur over the top as a float. This drink, since it leans in the direction of a smash or a julep, can be garnished with any sort of fresh herbs or berries you have available, but I like a sprig of mint and a blackberry skewered with a cocktail pick.

Show Notes

Before we get to the recipe for this black raspberry liqueur, there are a few links and tips we need to share.

Finally, check out these sexy labels that we made for our Black Raspberry Liqueur!

Black Raspberry Liqueur Recipe

Please keep in mind that this is an approximate recipe, and if you’re going to try your liqueur with a different fruit base you might want do choose different spirits or tweak the sugar a bit. Remember, use this as a guideline and customize to your taste and your desired end product.

That said, our scaled recipe for this project is:

  • 1 L vodka

  • 375ml Cognac or Armagnac

  • 6 cups black raspberries

  • The peels of 3 lemons

  • 6 cloves

This will yield your fruit-infused spirit mixture, to which you’ll need to add a decent amount of sugar. The overall output for our infusion was about 4L of liquid, which is going to vary wildly in both volume and ABV depending on how much liquid your fruit adds to the mixture.

Below is a gallery that takes you through this first phase of the process, step-by-step.

In our case, once the ingredients were strained out, we then added:

  • About 3 cups of water

  • And roughly 9-12 cups of sugar

This sounds like a lot of sugar, but as you heard during the episode, it was necessary.

The end yield for this project was about 32 250ml bottles, or 8 L of Liqueur, so expect your liquid volume to increase anywhere between 50 and 100% when you add the sugar and water.