Got an allotment? Grow blackcurrants? Then you need this traditional Homemade Blackcurrant Cassis recipe in your life. End of story :)
I first wrote this recipe for a traditional creme de cassis, using homegrown blackcurrants, back in 2016.
As I’ve just restocked my supplies of this fabulous homemade blackcurrant liqueur, I thought it prudent to give this post a tidy up and reshare it with you before the best blackcurrant season I’ve ever known is over!
This recipe is one of my most popular during the summer months when blackcurrants are abundant.
Homemade Blackcurrant Cassis the taste of summer
I’m not one to get overly excited about boozy things (apart from maybe these Mojito ice lollies).
But this delectable syrup is a bottle of pure summery sunshine.
At first sip, you get the scent of fresh blackcurrants.
This is quickly followed by a nice warm glow.
Before tailing off with a sweet childhood memory of the taste of Ribena.
Weird and wonderful all at the same time!
How to use up your blackcurrant harvest
Blackcurrants aren’t the most exciting or anticipated of my summer fruity harvests.
They aren’t quite sweet enough to scoff straight from the bush like the strawberries or raspberries.
And whilst they always go well in a crumble or pie, I’ve never found a blackcurrant recipe that I look forward to making all year long.
However, there’s a strong possibility that has now all changed.
I love pulling out a cute little hip flask of this blackcurrant cassis when sat around the campfire with friends.
And if you can make a bottle or two last until Christmas, you’ll be rewarded by the scent and taste of summer.
Either enjoy a tot neat or use a dash of your homebrew cassis to make a fancy Kir Royal cocktail. Your guests will be extra impressed when you tell them you brewed it yourself!
If you give this recipe a go, do let me know what you think in the comments below.
A blackcurrant recipe for the blackcurrant season
Blackcurrant season generally runs from July into August here in Cornwall.
Be warned that the birds like blackcurrants too. So, if your bushes aren’t netted off from aerial attacks, you might lose your fruit long before the season technically finishes.
You could certainly use frozen fruit for this recipe. I would defrost and drain any excess water from them before using. It is possible that any extra water might dilute the preserving action of the alcohol and sugar.
If you come to this recipe too late in the season, please do bookmark or pin the recipe for next year. I promise it’ll be worth the wait ;)
How to Make Blackcurrant Liqueur (Creme de Cassis)
1/ Prep the fruit
Wash, dry and pick through your blackcurrants, removing any bugs, leave or other debris.
2/ Gently crush the currants
Pour into a large glass jar and gently smash the currants with the back of a spoon (or the handle of a potato masher!)
3/ Add the sugar and alcohol
I used caster sugar, but you could also use granulated. It’ll just take a little longer to dissolve.
Traditionally cassis is made with brandy, but you could make an equally delicious liqueur by swapping the brandy with vodka.
I use a very cheap supermarket brandy, as the sugar smoothes out any roughness anyway.
4/ Stir and let rest
Give it all a good stir, then cover and sit on a sunny windowsill for about a week.
Be sure to give it a stir at least once a day, and after a week the sugar should all have dissolved.
At this point you can move the jar to somewhere dark and cool. Over teh next few weeks the alcohol will extract all the colour, flavour and scent from the fruit.
5/ Strain & bottle up
After about six weeks, your cassis liqueur will be ready.
Lay a piece of muslin over a large sieve that is suspended over a large saucepan or bowl.
Carefully pour the fruit and syrup into the muslin cloth and let sit for a couple of hours to drip through.
Decant the blackcurrant brandy into clean, sterile bottles. Add a label and stash somewhere cool and dry.
So long as the bottles are squeaky clean, your liqueur will last safely for years.
Oh, and if you don’t currently grow them, why not treat yourself to a couple of bushes?
Find out everything you need to know about growing blackcurrants here.
- 500 g blackcurrants
- 170 g sugar - I used caster sugar, but granulated would work too, it'll just take a little longer to dissolve.
- 500 ml brandy
Pick through the blackcurrants, removing stems leaves and bugs.
Wash if necessary and dry on a clean tea towel.
- Pop the currants into a large glass jar or wide mouthed bottle and crush gently with the back of a large spoon.
Add in the sugar and brandy and stir well.
Cover and stand the jar on a sunny windowsill until the sugar has all dissolved.
Be sure to and give it a stir once or twice a day.
After a minimum of one month, and a maximum of four months, strain the fruit.
Line a sieve with a piece of clean muslin and strain the liqueur into a clean pan or bowl below.
Don't squash the currants, instead allow them to slowly drip through the sieve.
The leftover boozey blackcurrants can be used in an (adult only!) dessert such as a crumble or pie.
Pour the cassis liqueur into clean, sterile bottles. Label with the contents and date, and store somewhere cool and dry.