O híu Noshàh
O hí Lúghnásádh
Feed the flames and set them dancing
Hail the Sun and Hail to Life
Spear of fire
Burn so brightly
As the sunwheel in the sky
*Note: My recipe yielded 5 + bottles so after tasting the final product, another 3 3/4 cups of brandy were added and it is perfect.
Blessings friends. The First Harvest is here. We picked blackberries yesterday late in the afternoon under the warm August sun. Aren’t berry stained hands the epitome of Summer?
Today is Sunday, warm but overcast. I’m in the kitchen making my Blackberry Cordial with mulling spices and Brandy. It will sit in a dark cupboard (where I store onions and root veggies) ready to be shared as a sweet (boozy) dessert liquor at my annual Mabon dinner. A few friends who stopped by and saw the buckets of blackberries assumed we’d be making jam. Nope!. In this house we like a good stiff drink.
With the amounts below I made enough to fill 4 wine bottles, an empty Brandy bottle and 2 small glass bottles. Cordial will store happily for years and makes a great gift.
You Will Need: (yields 18 cups)
- 12 cups of Blackberries
- 9 cups of water
- 6 tsp ground Cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
- 3 Bay leaves
- 12 Cloves
- 12 Black Pepper Corns
- 2 Tblsp Mulling spice (optional, I wanted to finish up what I had from Christmas)
- 3 cups of Sugar
- 7.5 cups of Brandy (this was exactly 2 full bottle of Brandy)
Kitchen Supplies You Will Need:
- Cheesecloth or a very small mesh sieve
- a cheesecloth pouch to add the spices (I used a new stocking and cut the foot off and filled it with my mulling spices and tied it to the handle of the pot with the spices floating in the liquid).
- A large pot
- Measuring cups
- A wooden spoon
- A potato masher or hand held blender
- A funnel
- 3 – 4 sterilized bottles at least 1 litre each
Place blackberries, water and spices (tied in pouch) into a large pot.
Simmer over medium low heat for 30 minutes mashing the berries. I switched to my handheld blender after the potato masher looked to be a bit too much work.
After 30 minutes, turn stove off and remove the pot from heat and strain into another pot through sieve or cheesecloth without squeezing (liquid will be too hot to handle).
Place the juice back onto the stove and add the sugar while the liquid is still warm. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Let cool completely then add the Brandy.
Now it’s time to pour the Cordial into sterilized bottles and screw on caps or corks. You can also store it in large glass canning jars. Label and date your bottles.
Store in cool, dark place for at least two weeks before serving.
We picked more than enough berries to freeze a few bags. We’ll use them later in the Fall for Jam, pies, smoothies and why not? More Cordial!. Cheers
Here’s some Harvest music I played while making my Cordial today. Happy first Harvest and Blessed Lughnasadh.