Homemade Hooch at the Urban Homestead

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.

Homemade Cassis

  • 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.


About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

4 thoughts on “Homemade Hooch at the Urban Homestead”

  1. What a wonderful photograph of the now and future Cassis. There is nothing that says we are at the height of summer and that are gardens are brimming over, better, then a wide mouth quart sized Ball Mason jar. I myself am about to can some Sauerkraut that has been crock rotting for a couple of weeks now.

    I was in my garden just last evening at twilight, a bit in awe of these plants bearing vegetables and fine things to eat. I suddenly realized I had probably over planted green beans. I thought to myself…. “dare I consider canning some of them for winter? After all, Del Monte charges me just $1.19 a can, anytime.” I’m thinking about it…..

    I will be back for the holidays…. for the unsealing, and to hear the rest of this story


  2. Do you think this will work with currants I froze fresh this spring? I have a big bag full, was going to defrost and make jam/jelly, but I’d love something alcoholic instead. Or maybe I’ll have to wait for next year…

  3. Temptress,

    I think the frozen currants would work perfectly in this recipe because the vodka slowly gets infused with the color and essence of the currants. I checked our batch recently and took a small taste and the flavor is amazing! Good luck and thanks for visiting.



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