2 1/2 c Ripe blackberries; rinsed
2 c Brandy; approximately
3/4 c Sugar
1/3 c Water
1 tb Grated lemon zest
1/2 ts Glycerine; optional
Procedures : Lightly crush 2 cups of the berries with a fork or potato masher; place in a quart size glass canning jar or and other quart sized glass jar that has an enamel lined lid. Pour in enough brandy to cover the berries. Add equal portions of the remaining berries and brandy to reach the top of the jars lip; make sure that all of the berries are covered by the brandy. Pour in just enough brandy to begin a small overflow, then tightly cap the jar and wipe the outside clean.
Label the date on the jar. Allow to steep in a cool, dark place for 2 months. (If a dark environment is not available, tape a piece of black construction paper around the jar.) Every two weeks, gently shake the jar to distribute the flavors.
After two months, gently pour the jar’s contents through a regular strainer or sieve; discard the residue. Follow this by two strainings through slightly dampened cheesecloth. For true clarity and professional looking results, pour the mixture through a large, clean coffee filter placed inside a funnel or clean coffee cone; loosely cover the contents with plastic wrap, since the process may take several hours.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Add the optional glycerine, if desired.
Funnel the strained brandy into a glass bottle, then funnel in the sugar syrup through a strainer,to remove the lemon zest. Cover tightly; shake to blend. Let mature at room temperature, or slightly cooler, for at least 1 month.