We’ve been harvesting currants here, and even the ripest berries are intensely, mouth-puckeringly tart. After scratching my head about how to best utilize the little red berries, I found a recipe for homemade cassis and knew we were in business. I love kir (a drink made with cassis and white wine) and its cousin kir royale (cassis and champagne). While crème de cassis is traditionally made with black currants, I learned that red currants can also be used.
This is a two-part recipe, and you can easily double this if you have a bounty of fresh currants.
3 to 4 cups ripe currants
2 ½ to 3 cups vodka (or enough to cover the currants in the jar)
1 pound sugar (more or less may be needed)
1 cup vodka (more or less may be needed)
Wash the currants, remove any stems and gently pour them in a one-quart Mason jar. Pour the vodka in the jar, almost to the top. Here’s how it looks at this stage:
Seal the jar and put it in a cool, dark place for 4 to 6 months.
To finish the cassis, strain the contents of the jar into a large glass measuring cup and measure the liquid. Pour the liquid into a large, heavy saucepan. For every 2 cups of liquid, add 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of vodka and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for about ten minutes, or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is syrupy. Pour into a hot, sterilized jar or bottle.