Recipe Box: Blackberry Cordial & Simple Syrup

Blackberry Vodka
Nummy vodka is just this easy!

Summer days in these mountains mean many wonderful things – fireflies blinking in the dusk, sweet little songbirds chirping, frogs croaking, and one of my favorites – blackberry picking!

It has been a particularly rainy spring and summer and so even the often hard and sour wild blackberry brambles are covered in more deliciously sweet, fat berries than I’ve ever seen!

Every season, I get a small bit o’berries from the wild brambles in our yard, usually around a pint. I tend to get about a 1/4 cup each evening and throw them into a large tupperware to live in the freezer.  Once I have enough to work with, I can make something!  The side effect of freezing berries is that when they thaw, they will release more juice than fresh berries.

Besides my own yard, I know of some other places nearby where I can go and pick to my heart’s content and have enough for a gallon of wine or mead, or a few jars of jam. But now we are going to talk about a tradition that I follow every year of making blackberry cordial.

Like I’ve covered before, tinctures, elixirs, and cordials are easy to make!  They are a wonderful method of bringing summertime to the cold winter nights.  A little bit of blackberry cordial in a cup of hot tea or cider can make a bedtime nightcap extra special.  I’m happy to share my basic blackberry cordial recipe with you all!

blackberry syrup
Delicious & Lovely, too!

Blackberry Cordial

Take a jar and add your blackberries into it.  Fill it up as much as you can.

Use a wooden spoon and smush the berries to release their juices. 

Cover the smooshed berries with your choice of booze.  I often use a good quality vodka, but a nice brandy works well with blackberries.

Close up your jar, label it, and put it aside for at least a month.  

After a while, strain your booze!  I like to use a wire strainer first, then a secondary strain with cheesecloth or a clean cotton rag. 

Sweeten to taste, label, and store!

For sweetening, you can make a plain simple syrup (recipe here) or try this one if you have blackberries left over:

Blackberry Simple Syrup

Boil one cup of water with a handful or two of berries.  Let it simmer for a bit, strain, and return the liquid to the pan.

Add a cup of sugar (or honey, or agave, or whatever you prefer!)

Let it come to a boil for one minute. Turn to low and let it simmer for a few minutes.

Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Allow to cool down a bit before funneling into a clean glass bottle with a tight fitting lid.

Label and date your syrup and store it in the fridge!

Enjoy your cordial-making! I know that I do.


    1. Hi, Connie! Good questions! Because of the booze content, I’ve had cordials that I sip from every now and then that are years old and never had any problems. I don’t store those in the fridge, either.

      The Simple Syrup will last for months and months in the fridge, but I’ve never kept any longer than that – I tend to use them up! Nor have I tried to can syrup before, but I found a good post here that offers advice on how to do just that!

      Best wishes!

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