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Make Your Own Chambord

ChambordMake Your Own Chambord

Chambord is an excellent top shelf French raspberry liqueur, but also very expensive. But the low end substitutes  taste, well, awful. But you can make your that's very good quality for much, much less than the French brands. It's easy.  And this recipe is not only better than most recipes on the internet; it's also safer; we'll explain below. 

For other liqueurs you can make, see this page

Here's how:

Yield: 1.25 liter

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz (680 grams) of fresh raspberries (that's 4 of the tiny boxes at the grocery), or the same quantity of frozen raspberriesraspberries
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup, or  225 g) of fresh blackberries (that's 1 of the tiny 24 oz boxes at the grocery), or the same quantity of frozen blackberries
  • 1 liter brandy or vodka or a mix.  .  I prefer brandy for its smooth flavor, fruit base and I believe Chambord uses brandy.
    but in either case, don't  go cheap too cheap on the brand.
    For a good quality smooth brandy, I've found E&J or Christian Brothers VS are very good for this.
    For vodka, use Stolichnaya, Smirnoff, Absolute, Finlandia, etc.
  • 1 whole clovemardarin, orange or lemon peel
  • A strip or two of orange, mandarin or lemon peel with the white pith removed
  • 1/4 ( 1 or 2 ml) teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) water
  • 2 cups (500 ml) sugar or... for lower calories.. the equivalent amount of Stevia or Splenda.
    Note:
    Many online recipes for homemade Chambord call for adding the sugar to the berries before aging. This can allow dangerous bacteria to grow in the mix. In our recipe, you do not add the sugar until  after the aging is complete and the berry pulp is removed. Drinking liqueur made the way the other recipes suggest can make you sick!

Equipment

  • Large glass jar (quart jars or 1/2 gallon) with sealable lid
  • Fine metal sieveBrandy
  • Large size coffee filter to fit the sieve

 

Vanilla extract

Directionsmash the berries

Step 1 - Mix ingredients

Rinse the raspberries under cold water. Pick out any leaves, stems or rotted berries.

Step 2 - Crush the berries

Crush the berries with a potato masher or the bottom of a heavy glass.mashed berries

Step 3 - Add the brandy and/or vodka

Add the brandy and/or vodka, plus the, cloves, lemon peel and vanilla. Pour into glass jars, like Ball / Kerr/ Mason canning jars.

Put the lids on and shake to mix

Step 4 - Soak, Steep and Mature

Now let the flavors infuse the eau de vie (alcohol). Gently carry the flask down to your barrel aging room 

What, don't have one?  OK, Put the jar in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks (longer is better!) at room temperature. Shake it for a few seconds once a week.

Step 5 - Strain the alcohol mixChambord - extraction

 Pour the aged alcohol mix through a fine mesh strainer once to get the larger pieces. Discard the debris in the sieve than line it with the coffee filter or cheesecloth and filter the liquid again.

Step 6 - Final aging

Again, let the mix age for 1 more week in a cool, dark place.

 Step 7 - Polishing

 One more time, pour the aged alcohol mix through a coffee filter or cheesecloth.

Step 8 - Sugar solution

Heat 3/4 cup of water and the 2 cups of sugar in a pot over low heat, just until the sugar dissolves. (5 minutes.) Cool to room temperature (about 20 minutes).

Add the sugar syrup solution to the strained berry-alcohol mixture.

Step 9 - Bottling

You can now pour the liqueur into old liqueur bottles or canning jars and seal them. Be sure to label and date your vintage!

Step 10 - Aging

Now for the final aging! Put it into the fridge for at least 8 weeks; but longer  (12 to 16 weeks is much better!)

 

 

Cost comparison

  • water - free
  • Raspberries price varies, frozen are less expensive, or free if you have a bush! about $6
  • Blackberries - same. SO easy to grow them, or pick wild.  $2
  • 2 cups granulated sugar - $1.00
  • Clove, mandarin peel, Vanilla:  negligible
  • Brandy: 1 liter (4 cups) Vodka or Brandy.  I prefer brandy, from Costco or Sam's Club, $22 for 1.75 liter  = $13.00 for 1 iter

Total cost: $22 per liter

 

Chambord generally costs about $33 for a 750 ml bottle,  plus tax  (2020, Atlanta, GA retail)

 

So, the homemade is about 1/2 or less the price.  Especially if you grow your own berries, then it can be 1/3 the price.

 


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