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A simple recipe for sweet and smooth blackcurrant rum liqueur. Mix it into champagne for Kir Royale or sip it neat. It’s like Ribena for adults.
Kids in Britain grow up on Ribena, a cordial made with concentrated blackcurrant juice, sugar, and a few other things. I’m not saying it’s healthy, but everyone’s had it. Saying that, very few people actually eat blackcurrants. They might decorate the top a fancy pavlova, but in the shop, they’re few and far between. Plump and juicy and bursting with zingy fruitiness, they make excellent preserves, wine, and liqueurs.
This easy recipe for blackcurrant rum liqueur is one of the best I’ve come across. I’ve been making it on and off for seven years and after it’s infused, it lasts for months. Though all its liquid is rum, you wouldn’t know it, and you’ll instantly be reminded of Ribena. It’s sweet and smooth and I like to sip it neat from a small glass — a larger one would be a little dangerous! Blackcurrant liqueur is one of the best ways to preserve that delicious summery taste.
If you live in Britain, Europe, or parts of North America, you might be able to find blackcurrants at a farmers market. If not, you can grow your own. Check to make sure there aren’t restrictions on growing Ribes in your area and if your garden is suitable. They prefer temperate climates with rich, well-drained soil. In an open position, they’ll grow over five feet tall but in containers, they’ll stay a bit smaller. Though they’re self-fertile, they produce more berries when planted with others.
Related to redcurrants, gooseberries, and jostaberries, blackcurrants are a Ribe and very easy to propagate from cuttings. If you know someone who has one, it’s very easy to start off your own plant from a small branch of theirs. Literally stick it in the ground and it will grow into a new plant. Make sure that the plant isn’t suffering from any disease though first.
Blackcurrant liqueur Recipe
- Gold Jamaican Rum
- Sugar or Agave Syrup
Make Blackcurrant Liqueur
The method is incredibly simple. Half-fill a large preserving jar with ripe blackcurrants. Squish or tear each one open as you pop it inside. Fill the rest of the container with rum and seal. Now comes the difficult part, waiting for the berries to infuse. Let the mixture sit for one to two months in a dark and cool place. Give the jar a swirl every few days if you can remember.
Strain the now vibrant red liquid from the berries and add sugar and/or agave syrup to taste. I tend to use about a cup of granulated sugar per 750ml of liquid and it will take a few days of swirling it around in the liquid for the sugar to dissolve. You can use less (or more!) so the sweetness factor is up to you. Pour into clean, sterilized bottles and use within a year. The flavor should be rich, sweet, and delicious on its own. You can also mix it with champagne to make Kir Royale. It’s an easy recipe and I have no doubt that if you make it once, you’ll be making it again and again for years to come.