Blackberry Cordial

Cordials were very popular in the late nineteenth century; they are easy to make and are a refreshing and elegant way to end a dinner party.

Yield: about 3 quarts

8 quarts blackberries
2 quarts cold water
4 pounds granulated sugar
2 quarts vodka

Pick over and wash berries. Place in a large stock pot, cover with water, and boil until berries are soft, stirring and crushing the berries with a large spoon or ladle. Add sugar and return to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Let cool, add vodka, and place mixture in a large stoneware crock. Put in a cool, dark place and let stand for 4 weeks, stirring once a week.

Strain mixture through cheesecloth and place into sterilized jars or bottles. Do not vacuum seal. Return jars to cool, dark place for at least 2 months before drinking.

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