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Cassis Liqueur

  • j
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Perhaps some liqueur hounds can help my cassis. I made it for the first time and it doesn't have that intense but bright currant flavor I longed for, more of an almost cooked currant taste. I noticed this once with some blackberries I had soaked in vodka, that they tasted almost oxidized, but I didn't turn that into liqueur and I didn't notice it when just tasting the currant-vodka infusion. Here's what I did, following a recipe from Cook and the Gardener:

In August, covered about 2 cups fresh black currants with vodka (unfortunately don't remember which)and set in the back of the cabinet.

In January (recipe said 4 to 6 months later), brought mixture to a boil, strained and added equal amount sugar (in this case 2 cups) and 1/2 cup vodka (1 cup vodka to each quart sugar). Then boiled about 10 minutes until thickened.

So:
Could it be the vodka?
Should I have heated the initial vodka-currant mix to draw out flavor?
I don't think it is the boiling because I tasted this in the unboiled blackberry vodka - but thoughts?
Does it simply need to age (as with limoncello)?

Thanks.

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  1. It may need some acid to help prevent oxidization. Add some lemon juice at the beginning of the process. Also it is better to keep the infusion in a cool, around 50-60 degrees, dark place.

    Also I wouldn't infuse it for that length of time for such a small amount. 4-8 weeks max.

    I also would change the recipe and not heat or cook it as much. Heating / cooking with vodka is overdoing the attempt at flavor extraction.

    Just thinking about it compared to the dozens of liqueurs I have made. I would take 2-4 cups of currants, the juice of one lemon, and put them in a large glass container and cover with vodka. Quality doesn't really matter. I like Smirnoff or Gordons.

    Let sit for six weeks and taste it. If it isn't concentrated enough I would simmer for five minutes with a cup of sugar and taste again. Simmer until strongly flavored. Then add vodka and sugar to taste. It should be less sweet and more alcoholic than you think it should be. You can always add more sugar or simple syrup later.

    Strain the whole thing through a coffee filter or paper towel lined colander and jar it for a two weeks. Filter it again and taste. Add sugar, simple syrup, or more vodka as needed and rebottle and let sit 1-2 more weeks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JMF

      Thank you. That was all very logical and helpful! Hopefully this year's will improve with age and I'll try your suggestions next summer.