Cassis recipe

This is a delicious Blackcurrant drink made mainly by the French, however, it may also be made in other countries; certainly my only experience of drinking it has been in France, it is used to make Kir or Kir Royal along with other cocktails. Kir is a wonderful aperitif made up of either a drop of Cassis syrup or Framboise syrup in a chilled glass, this is then topped up with chilled dry white wine. No prizes for guessing that a Kir Royal uses the same choice of Syrup but is completed with Champagne rather than dry wine.

I have two recipes for you – one a simple quick method, and one more traditional, both are successful and very tasty.

Method one = using 1 litre clear bottles fill to ¾ size with freshly picked and washed Blackcurrants, pour enough Vodka or clear alcohol of your choice into the bottle to cover the Blackcurrants (I use 50/50 Vodka and 95% Polish Spirit), put 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of sugar into the mix then top the bottle up with the alcohol, shake well to dissolve the sugar and stand in a cool dark place, shaking the bottle once a week to encourage movement of the Blackcurrants in the bottle.

 

After 3 to 4 months, pour out the alcohol into a bowl through a strainer; shake out the Currants into the said strainer then gently put pressure on them using a potato masher. Once you are confident you have all of the juice out of the currants, taste the liquid, it should be delicious; if you think it requires more sugar then feel free to add to taste. Run the liquid through a filter process of some description – I use a coffee filter, into a jug (Fig 1) then bottle, label and enjoy. Because this one is not heated, it's not syrup, more a Liqueur.

 

Method two = Start in the same way as above – ¾ fill bottles with Currants and top up with Vodka or your choice of clear alcohol. Do not add sugar at this point. Stand for 3 or 4 months shaking on a weekly basis. After standing for the prescribed time pour out the liquid and the fruit through a sieve or Colander lined with a fine mesh cloth into a pan; once again squeeze the liquid from the fruit into a basin and get as much as you can out of the currants. I also put the currants in a separate pan over a low heat and cook them slowly, this also releases liquid. Add this liquid to the pan and filter through a coffee filter into a measuring jug.

 

The recipe for turning into syrup is as follows: For every 500 Ml (0.8 of a Pint) of currant Juice add 500grams (1.1 LBS) of Sugar along with 120 Ml (0.2 Pt) of your white Alcohol. Warm in a pan until just hitting boiling point then allow to simmer, for 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. Skim off any foam that has formed on the surface and bottle as the liquid begins to cool. It can be placed back into the washed out Litre bottles or small ones to present to friends as gifts (Fig 2).

 

Do remember you are not making jam, so don't keep the mixture at a hot temperature for very long, just long enough to start the thickening process.

 
  Figure 1
  Figure 2