Blackberry Brandy Recipe | Moorlands Eater (2024)

Blackberry Brandy is a satisfying, easy project made with seasonal, foraged fruit.

The spirit is flavoured with blackberries and sweetened with sugar to make a delicious, liqueur-like drink. Swap the brandy for gin, vodka, whisky, or dark rum if you prefer.

Blackberry Brandy Recipe | Moorlands Eater (1)

Made using fresh or frozen blackberries, you’ll need the patience to let it infuse for three months before straining and bottling. Then it’s up to you how long to mature it before enjoying on its own, in co*cktails, or with mixers.

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Like millions of Britons, when I was a child, a Summer didn’t go by without my sisters and I going blackberrying or brambling. We were foragers before we’d even heard of foraging.

Although I lived in a large town, there were still plenty of opportunities to pick blackberries for free. The bramble plant is native to Britain and very common in woodlands, hedgerows, and seemingly almost any scrubby bit of land.

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Back then, most of the inky blackberries would go straight from the hedgerow into our mouths via juice-stained fingers.

Even now, it’s a rare year that I don’t pick at least one batch of blackberries. But, these days, the berries (which, technically speaking, aren’t actually berries) are more likely to end up in jams, jellies, smoothies, pies, or ice-cream.

But when you’ve had your fill of those, how about making Blackberry Brandy?

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I’m so pleased to be able to finally tell you about my Blackberry Brandy recipe. I made my first batch last year but felt it best to wait until the start of this brambling season. Not only will it be more useful now they’re coming on everywhere again, but the dark liqueur has had more time to mature.

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This satisfying and tasty little project is so simple you won’t believe it. You’ll find full details in the recipe card at the end, but here are the basic steps.


Pick medium or even slightly overripe blackberries. While a few underripe ones are fine in homemade jam, you want the luscious flavour of ripe fruit for Blackberry Brandy. You’ll need 500 grams per 700 ml or 70cl bottle of brandy.

If you can’t pick that many at once, just freeze what you have and add to them until you’ve amassed enough.

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Important: when foraging for blackberries, please don’t strip plants of all fruit. Leave some for others and the many insects, mammals, and birds that feed on brambles.

After picking, rinse and drain the blackberries in a sieve. If freezing, I do it on a tray and transfer to a container when hard. This stops them forming a big clump and means you don’t have to defrost before making the Blackberry Brandy.

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The first step is to ‘muddle’ the blackberries with some sugar. Muddling just means lightly bruise and mash the fruit to release its flavour, not bash it to smithereens.

I put the berries and sugar in a large, very clean jar and muddle them with a wooden spoon. Your jar should be large enough to hold the fruit, sugar, plus the brandy. It should also have a good seal as you’ll be shaking it up now and then.

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I think white granulated or caster sugar is best here. It has neutral flavour and colour so won’t affect the final product. Wanting a liqueur-like medium-sweet Blackberry Brandy, I used half the weight of sugar to blackberries. You can make it less sweet if you prefer.


Actually, there’s no reason you can’t use a spirit other than brandy. Vodka, gin, or whisky should all be fine. But for me the dark fruit is better complemented by a dark, sweeter spirit. Rum, other than white, would be another option.

It’s probably obvious that there’s no point using a fine brandy for this recipe. Its flavour will be completely wasted. On the other hand, I wouldn’t make it with something entirely undrinkable either. Personally, I think a mid-priced Spanish brandy is about right.

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Pour the brandy into the jar and give everything a good stir. Aim to dissolve as much of the sugar as you can. Don’t worry if some is still undissolved though. It will disappear over the coming days.

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Now we need to leave the jar so the brandy takes on the flavour of the blackberries and is sweetened by the dissolving sugar. I put it in a kitchen cupboard that’s within easy reach but not in a warm spot. To help along the infusing, shake the jar every other day for 3 weeks. Being forgetful, I put a reminder to do it on my phone.

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After 3 weeks, you can reduce the shaking to just once a week. How long you continue this stage is up to you. The longer you leave it, the more flavoursome the mixture should get. Because I wanted my Blackberry Brandy ready for Christmas, I infused it for 3 months.


After infusing for your chosen length of time, strain the mixture through a sieve, catching the liquid. If you don’t want to waste the blackberries you can use them in puddings, cakes, smoothies etc. Just bear in mind they will have absorbed some of the alcohol.

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As with all preserve making (and Blackberry Brandy is a fantastic way to preserve seasonal fruit for a long time) all your equipment should be scrupulously clean. Wash everything in hot, soapy water and rinse.

To make filling the bottles easier, I transferred the liqueur to a jug first. But not before having a little taste, of course!

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Even at the bottling stage, I was rather pleased with it. It reminded me of a fruity port. Exactly what I was after.

As my first batch was an experiment, I matured the liqueur in small, 250ml bottles rather than larger ones. This was so I could open just one of them around Christmas/New Year while leaving the others to mature further and see how they improved.

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The recipe made approximately 900 ml of Blackberry Brandy so one of my bottles wasn’t quite full. I popped that in the fridge and used it up within a few days.

As with the infusing, you can leave the bottles to mature for as long as you like. Place them in a cool, dark place – just as you would a chutney.


I opened my first bottle on New Year’s Eve. Unsurprisingly, after less than three weeks, it didn’t really taste that much different to when it was bottled. But it made a nice co*cktail with prosecco.

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As I write this blog, my remaining Blackberry Brandy has been in the bottle 6½ months. I opened the second bottle today, drank a little glass, then made a co*cktail with some later. Wow!

The flavour has greatly improved. At the bottling stage, it had reminded me of a fruity port. Now, I think those complex port-like flavours have intensified into something rather lovely.

I’ve still got one bottle left and will try not to open it until it’s had a full year of maturing. Meanwhile, I can’t wait for this year’s blackberry season to start so I can get on with a new batch of Blackberry Brandy.


Being a relative newbie, I’ve still to discover some of its delights. But here’s a few ideas for using your Blackberry Brandy.

  • On its own: Enjoy a tipple in a small glass either chilled or, on cool nights in front of the fire, served just as it is.

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  • A simple cool drink: for summer refreshment, put plenty of ice in a glass, pour over a generous glug of the liqueur, and top up with soda water or lemonade.
  • As a dessert wine: I think Blackberry Brandy would be great with rich puddings, especially boozy or chocolatey ones.
  • Instead of sherry in trifle: Talking of desserts, I used some of my first bottle in a classic British trifle. I brushed sponge fingers with lots of the liqueur before covering them with a tin of black cherries, black cherry jelly, proper homemade custard, whipped cream and, of course, a sprinkle of hundreds and thousands.

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  • Wine spritzer: add a dash to white or rose wine, topping up with soda water or lemonade.
  • Blackberry Brandy Smash:in a glass, gently bruise a few mint leaves then add ice cubes. Pour in some Blackberry Brandy, add a dash of soda water or ginger ale, serve with a slice of lemon, orange, or lime.

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If you’ve made Blackberry Brandy, I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment. How long do you infuse and mature yours for and how do you drink it?

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5 from 4 votes


A satisfying, easy project made with seasonal, foraged fruit. Brandy is flavoured with blackberries and sweetened with sugar to make a delicious, liqueur-like drink.


CuisineBritish, European

Keywordpreserves, seasonal

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 0 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 900 ml (approx)

Author Moorlands Eater


  • 500gblackberries, fresh or frozensee Recipe Note #1
  • 700mlbrandysee Recipe Note #2
  • 250gwhite granulated or caster sugarsee Recipe Note #3


  1. Mix the blackberries with the sugar and brandy.

    Put the blackberries into a very clean, large jar (it will need a lid) along with the sugar.

    Stir them together, muddling so that the blackberries start to break up a little and release some of their juices.

    Pour the brandy into the jar and stir well, aiming to dissolve as much of the sugar as possible. Don't worry if all the sugar doesn't dissolve: it will do over the coming days.

  2. Leave to infuse.

    Put the lid on the jar and place in a dark place that's in easy reach such as a kitchen cupboard.

    Shake the jar vigorously every other day for 3 weeks.

    After 3 weeks, shake the jar once per week.

    Continue shaking once per week for 3 months, or longer if preferred.

  3. Bottle and mature.

    Strain the mixture through a sieve into a clean jug or bowl: the blackberries can be discarded or used in cakes, puddings, smoothies etc. but bear in mind they will have absorbed some of the alcohol.

    Transfer the Blackberry Brandy to very clean, dry bottles and put on the lids.

    Leave to mature for as long as you like: a minimum of 3 - 6 months is recommended.

Recipe Notes

Note #1 There's no need to defrost frozen blackberries so long as they're not frozen in a large clump.

Note #2 Other spirits can be used instead of brandy e.g. vodka, gin, whisky, rum.

Note #3 This amount of sugar makes a sweet liqueur. Add less sugar if preferred.


Blackberry Brandy Recipe | Moorlands Eater (2024)


Is blackberry liqueur and blackberry brandy the same thing? ›

While grapes are the most common, any fruit will do, and blackberry brandy is one of the most popular flavored brandies. In today's market, however, most blackberry brandy is sweetened, so it's very similar to blackberry liqueur, and the two can be used interchangeably in many drink recipes.

What is blackberry brandy made of? ›

Blackberry Brandy is a satisfying, easy project made with seasonal, foraged fruit. The spirit is flavoured with blackberries and sweetened with sugar to make a delicious, liqueur-like drink. Swap the brandy for gin, vodka, whisky, or dark rum if you prefer.

How to make brandy at home? ›

  1. Enough fruit to somewhat fill a gallon jar, (cherries, apricots, crabapples, etc.).
  2. Place fruit, any kind, into glass jar -- pits and all, just cut off the yucky parts.
  3. Add sugar and vodka.
  4. Set on your kitchen counter and flip it every day for three months.

Should blackberry brandy be chilled? ›

A little shot of blackberry brandy is a delicious after dinner drink. As a bonus, it's also a beautiful dark red berry color. If you want to try it this way, it's nice to chill it for a few hours before serving. Or just store it in the fridge!

Is Chambord a blackberry brandy? ›

Chambord is a super premium black raspberry liqueur that is made in the Loire Valley of France. It is crafted with 100% natural ingredients, which include blackberries, raspberries, and blackcurrant.

What do Polish people call blackberry brandy? ›

Jezynowka Leroux Polish Blackberry Brandy.

How long does blackberry brandy last? ›

Does Brandy Go Bad? Brandy, if unopened, does not go bad if kept away from heat and light. Once a bottle of brandy is opened, it's got about 1 to 2 years left before noticeable degradation in flavor and quality.

What is the alcohol content in blackberry brandy? ›

With an ABV of 35%, keep a bottle of Hiram Walker Blackberry Brandy on hand to make luscious, delicious, fruit-forward specialty drinks to please all of your friends.

What's Blackberry brandy good for? ›

  • Heart Healthy. Enjoying a glass of blackberry brandy is good for your heart. ...
  • Stress Reducer. Blackberry brandy helps reduce stress by relaxing you when drank in moderation. ...
  • Precautions. Blackberry brandy is a fortified wine that generally contains around 30 to 60 percent alcohol.

What is the best yeast for brandy? ›

For the fermentation of wine and the production of brandy

SafSpirit™CO-16 is recommended for the fermentation of wine for the production of Brandy, bringing both intensity and aromatic complexity.

What proof is homemade brandy? ›

This distilled spirit is usually 40 to 50 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), with 80 to 100 proof—though the alcohol content can vary depending on the type of brandy. Brandy is commonly consumed at room temperature or over ice as an after-dinner drink, and it can also be mixed into co*cktails.

How long does opened blackberry brandy last? ›

Brandy technically has an infinite shelf life, but the ingredients will start to deteriorate in quality after roughly 6 months, so try your best to polish that bottle off within a few months after opening it.

Is blackberry brandy good for sleep? ›

Again in moderate amounts, blackberry brandy helps you to relax. Duh. Blackberry brandy can help with sleep issues. That's why it's often served after dinner; in olden days people believed it helped them prepare for sleep.

Does brandy go bad? ›

Its high alcohol level keeps bacteria from growing in the liquor and protects its integrity when stored in a cool and dark environment. Open brandy won't go bad but it will lose its potency and flavor complexity within 6 months to 2 years of the seal being broken.

Is brandy and liqueur the same thing? ›

Eaux-de-vie (brandies) and liqueurs both refer to spirit drinks, but their production methods are very different and they each have their own specific tastes.

What's the difference between brandy and liqueur? ›

Liqueur is actually a type of spirit or liquor, which itself is a grain-based, distilled alcoholic beverage. A liqueur is a distilled spirit like vodka or brandy that is sweetened with sugar or syrup, and oftentimes it also contains flavoring agents such as fruit, herbs, and oils.

Is brandy a liquor or liqueur? ›

Brandy is a liquor produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35–60% alcohol by volume (70–120 US proof) and is typically consumed as an after-dinner digestif. Some brandies are aged in wooden casks.

What is the name of blackberry liqueur? ›

Blackberry liqueur (Crème de mûre)


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