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.

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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)
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