|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 10g|
|Vitamin C 9mg||43%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Raspberry liqueur is a sweet berry-flavored distilled spirit that's easy to make at home. Chambord is the most popular commercial liqueur of this flavor (it's made with black raspberries), and crème de framboise is a sweeter version. Falling in the middle of the two, this homemade liqueur recipe is a great alternative that requires just three ingredients. Not only is it easy to make, but it's also significantly cheaper than that premium bottle of Chambord.
For homemade raspberry liqueur, you'll need a good vodka, sugar, and raspberries. Frozen raspberries are the best option because they create a richer raspberry flavor; there's no need to thaw them. Fresh raspberries work just as well, though you'll find that they make a better liqueur when at their peak during the summer months.
To make the liqueur, you'll macerate the raspberries in sugar and vodka for a couple of weeks, then strain out the berries. It's a simple process that's similar to fermentation. In the jar, the vodka transforms the sugars (including those naturally in the berries) to create a beautiful red liqueur with the taste of sweet raspberries. If you like, build on the flavor with ingredients like brandy, citrus, and vanilla, and add blackberries for a more complex taste and a closer replica to Chambord. An even quicker version will have a bottled raspberry liqueur ready to drink straight or in your favorite cocktails within a day.
The raspberry liqueur recipe produces about 750 milliliters (just over three cups), which fills the standard liquor bottle. Reuse an old bottle that's been thoroughly cleaned or divide it into smaller bottles and give a portion as gifts.
4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (750-milliliter) bottle 80-proof vodka
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Split the raspberries equally between two quart-sized jars. Add 1/2 cup of sugar to each. Shake to coat the berries and allow to macerate for 30 minutes.
Pour half the vodka into each jar (about 1 1/2 cups per jar). Seal and shake well to dissolve the sugar. Check every 30 minutes and shake again until you're sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
Store the jars in a cool, dark place for two weeks, shaking every day or two.
Using a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, strain the raspberries from the liqueur. To remove more sediment, empty and rinse the cheesecloth and strain two or three more times.
Funnel the raspberry liqueur into two 16-ounce (or four 8-ounce) bottles. Seal and store with other liquors in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
- Nearly any vodka works well with this liqueur recipe because the berries and sugar will soften a harsher taste. However, it is best when made with vodka that you'd drink straight, and there are some excellent budget-friendly vodkas available. Try it with a citrus or vanilla vodka base for extra flavor. While most vodka is bottled at 40 percent ABV (80 proof), using 100-proof vodka will create a slightly bolder flavor and higher alcohol content.
- You can make the liqueur in a single jar that's larger than one quart. Before the fruit breaks down (after about a week), the recipe's volume will overflow a 1-quart jar, so it's best to split it up when using the smaller jar.
- Infuse the liqueur for up to six weeks if you like, particularly when using high-proof vodka. The extra time allows the flavor to develop and mellow even further.
- This homemade raspberry liqueur has a shelf-life similar to other sugary liqueurs. There's no need to refrigerate it, and it's best to drink it within six months to a year. Depending on how well it's strained, you may want to shake it before pouring.
- No time for a prolonged infusion? Make a quick raspberry liqueur instead. Start with a raspberry simple syrup by stirring one cup of sugar into one cup of boiling water until dissolved. Add two cups of raspberries, allow to simmer for about five minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and let cool completely. Strain out the berries and mix the syrup with two cups of vodka and add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you like, then bottle your raspberry liqueur.
- Give the liqueur a darker berry taste by replacing half of the raspberries with blackberries.
- Add extra flavor to create a liqueur that tastes a bit more like the secret formula used for Chambord. For instance, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract or a whole split vanilla bean along with the raspberries. Give it a citrus spin with 1/4 cup of orange peels or a deeper background by replacing 1/2 cup of the vodka with brandy. Using two jars allows for experimentation; keep one straight and add half of the ingredients to the second and see how you like the difference.
- For a darker sweetness, use fine-grain raw sugar. Raw sugars commonly have larger grains, so give it a whirl in the blender to help it dissolve better in the room-temperature liquid.
How to Serve Homemade Raspberry Liqueur
Raspberry liqueur is utterly delicious on its own and can be drunk straight or on the rocks. It's also an excellent substitute in raspberry cocktail recipes that use Chambord, raspberry liqueur, or crème de framboise. Try it in the French martini or Floradora, and consider increasing the recipe's other sweetener slightly when using it instead of the sweeter crème de framboise.
How Strong Is Homemade Raspberry Liqueur?
Without high-tech equipment, it's difficult to calculate the exact strength of a homemade liqueur that relies on maceration. The sugars added with the technique naturally decrease the vodka's alcohol content, and make it impossible to read on the average home-use hydrometer. However, you can assume that the liqueur falls between 15 percent and 25 percent ABV (30 to 50 proof) and at the upper end with a high-proof vodka. It's the same range you'll find among commercial raspberry liqueurs.
Is Raspberry Vodka a Good Substitute for Chambord?
Raspberry vodka can be a substitute for Chambord and other raspberry liqueurs, but you need to consider the vodka and the recipe. Some commercial flavored vodkas are sweetened (typically 35 percent ABV, 70 proof), but not to the extent of turning it into a liqueur, and others (including homemade versions) are a straight infusion of berries in vodka, which results in a 40 percent ABV, 80-proof raspberry vodka. When using raspberry vodka as a substitute for the liqueur, increase the drink's sweetener or add simple syrup to create a balanced cocktail (less with a sweeter vodka and more with an infusion). Consider reducing the drink's vodka (or other base spirits) as well.