A homemade liqueur infused with fresh red raspberries and vanilla bean, with hints of cinnamon and orange
There is something about a well crafted cocktail that makes me happy. Cocktails with ingredients that aren’t just poured out of a store bought bottle, but ones with homemade additions (liqueurs, simple syrups and infusions) or fresh ingredients. That’s what makes a great cocktail. I am no stranger to making my own infusions at home to use in drinks – I wouldn’t dream of making a margarita with anything but my homemade Grand Marnier. I love to play around with ways to make delicious infused alcohol or liqueurs to make some kick awesome drinks.
During the summer I love entertaining and in my book, entertaining and cocktails go hand in hand. I wanted to make a liqueur that would be the perfect compliment to summer cocktails, but would also be great to use the rest of the year too. After browsing the produce section, I knew raspberries would be a wonderful fruit to work with. And once you make a batch of this liqueur you are going to want to use it in a cocktail asap – so I’m sharing my recipe for a fabulous Raspberry Margarita as well (recipe at the end of this post). These margaritas are perfect for sipping on the patio this summer!
There are quite a few raspberry liqueurs on the market (like Chambord), but they range in both price and taste. They can be sickeningly sweet and artificial tasting so making your own at home is not only cheaper, but you’ll have a liqueur that tastes phenomenal.
For my raspberry liqueur I start with a bottle of Everclear®. Since we are adding both water and sugar to the infusion, we need the high alcohol content of the Everclear® to get the final product. I also like to use it since it’s a flavorless grain alcohol so it easily picks up whatever flavors you want to infuse. There’s lots of other infusion and liqueur recipes on their new site Make It Your Own by Everclear® so check it out!
A few notes: We start our liqueur off with fresh raspberries. If you are making this during a time of year that raspberries aren’t in season, you could also use frozen raspberries (just make sure to defrost them). To add more depth of flavor to the liqueur we add a vanilla bean, a cinnamon stick and some orange peel. When adding your orange peel make sure not to get any of the white pith (see this post for more info), that white part will give it a bitter taste. Once you have all those in with the Everclear® you just store it in a cool dark place – I use my pantry – and give it a good swirl/shake every day or so. When it’s time to do the next step, I like to use coffee filters to strain my mixture – they are cheap and easy to find, but you can also use cheesecloth if you have that laying around!
- 6 oz red raspberries
- ½ vanilla bean
- 1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
- peel from ½ an orange (*see note)
- 1½ cups Everclear®
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Place raspberries into a large glass jar. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans and add to raspberries. Add in vanilla bean pod, cinnamon stick and orange peels.. Pour in Everclear® and gently smash berries with a large spoon. Cover jar and store in a cool dry place for 2 weeks, stirring every other day. After raspberry mixture has been stored for 2 weeks, begin next step.
- Stir together water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, until sugar is completely dissolved. Let sugar mixture cool completely.
- In a fine mesh sieve strain raspberries and spices out of the Everclear® mixture. Using a spatula, gentry press on raspberries in strainer to extract as much liquid as you can then discard fruit. Stir in sugar syrup into the Everclear®. Line the strainer with a wet coffee filter and pour the Everclear® mixture through the filter. Once all of the mixture has filtered through replace with a new filter and strain again. Repeat this process 1 more time until is no longer cloudy
- Transfer the raspberry liqueur to bottles and refrigerate before serving. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 1 year.
*Peel orange into long strips using a vegetable peeler, taking only the rind and none of the white pith. If some of the white pith is on the peels, use a paring knife to trim it away and discard
- Raspberry Margaritas (serves 2)
- 3 oz raspberries
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp water
- 3 oz tequila
- 1½ oz raspberry liqueur
- 1½ oz lime juice
- ¾ oz orange liqueur (optional)
- Lime wedges
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine raspberries, sugar and water. Puree until smooth. Place a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl. Pour in raspberry mixture into strainer to remove seeds, using a spatula to press all the puree through. Discard seeds.
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add 2 tablespoons of raspberry puree, tequila, raspberry liqueur, lime juice, and orange liqueur (if using). Shake well to chill ingredients.
- Rim 2 cocktail glasses with sugar* (if desired) and fill with ice. Pour contents of the shaker into the two prepared glasses. Garnish with raspberries and lime slices.
Everclear® is the perfect ingredient for craft cocktails and home mixology, allowing you to put your own spin on new and old favorites. With its neutral grain composition, Everclear® extracts the optimal flavor to infuse your cocktails — whether you’re making bitters, liqueurs, tinctures or extracts. Visit makeityourown.com for recipe ideas, tips and more!
“This post was brought to you by Everclear®, the “original” grain alcohol, and Luxco. I received compensation to write this post. The opinions and text are all mine.