Creme de Cassis is a traditional French liqueur made with black currants. Some people will say it should only be made with black currants, but there's many fruit you can make it with if you don't like the astringency of the fruit. Besides currants, black raspberries make a wonderful homemade cassis.
If you don't grow black currant bushes, you can buy black currants from a farmers market. If they're out of season, its fine to use frozen black currants.
How to make it
Take your fruit fruit and put it in a jar with cane sugar and brandy. Some people use vodka but it isn't as good. Sticklers will say it should be about 15% alcohol by volume, but I'd encourage you to make it however strong you like.
I never add spices like cinnamon which are too strong and can ruin the delicate flavor, although a vanilla pod can be nice. Sometimes I add a few leaves of Galium triflorum instead of vanilla.
How to use
Black currant liqueur is the key ingredient in Kir Royale: a champagne cocktail made with cassis. Here's a few other ideas too.
- Drizzled over vanilla ice cream.
- As an appertif all by itself.
- Used in baking, and sauces for duck and game.
Black Cap Raspberry Cassis
- 1 two quart mason jar or similar
- 1 Fine Strainer
- 1.5 lbs black currants or other fruit I like black cap raspberries
- 750 ML bottle of brandy not too cheap, not too expensive*
- ½ cup sugar or maple syrup or to taste
- Pick the fruit or currants over for debris or any foreign particles.
- Add the currants or other fruit to a glass container such as a mason jar, add the maple or sugar and brandy and stir well until dissolved. Store for at least 30 days and up to six months.
- When you're pleased with the flavor, strain without pressing on the berries, then bottle the liquor. Discard the fruit.