How to make Crème de Cassis or Crême de Mûres

Hands up who wants a Kir Royale ?

Form an orderly queue now

Let me enlighten you – creme de cassis is blackcurrant liqueur added to white wine, typically a white burgundy or a Petilant/Cava/sparkling wine - but we knew that already didn’t we! Creme de Mures is it’s hedgerow cousin. Cassis is a relative of Dijon, Mures is more likely to hail from Normandy. But right now it resides quite happily in a kitchen near a Promenade.

As its blackbrerry season this recipe couldn’t be better timed. Make it now and you can sip and sup at Christmas or New Year or any other celebration you fancy, you can invent your own celebrations – that’s allowed.

I’ve been collecting small bowls and bags of blackberries as they ripen, washing them, weighing them and then popping them in the freezer until the moment arrived when I had enough to really get cooking.

The thing I forgot was that I already had two bags of blackberries left over from last year. Oh well, chuck those in too – the more the merrier !

I searched around for recipes – the creme de cassis seems to typically be made of eau de vie (vodka can be substituted), mures uses red wine. All the recipes involved sugar.

The recipe I used in the end came from  Visit Normandy, nice and simple, included all the main ingredients and looked like a winner. The recipe is copied in full below. The only special equipment I had to get were some Jelly Bags (here’s a link on how to make them, I bought mine from a hardware/ kitchen shop) so the berries could be drained.  The other things you will need include a large bowl or two, a stick blender / food processor, a ladle and a jug, a large pan with a lid, and if you can get some help an extra pair of hands turned out to be very useful.


Crême de Mûres and Crême de Cassis

Ingredients ~

  • 1.5 kg blackberries (or blackcurrants, raspberries or myrtilles)
  • 2 litres decent, medium-bodied red wine
  • Sugar

 
Method

  • Wash the fruit, dain it and put it in a large bowl, now mash it with a stick blender or food processor.
  • Add red wine and leave it to macerate in a covered bowl for 48 hours in a cool place. Our kitchen is fairly cool so I left it on the worktop and it was fine.
  • Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth or jelly bags. This was the tricky part as you have to get the wine/berry mixture into the bags without making too much mess, and another pair of hands definitely came in useful. Use a large ladle or jug to pur the wine/berry mix into the bag. I then hung the jelly bags from hooks on the kitchen cupboards with a bowl underneath. Two jelly bags were needed to take this amount of berries and wine
  • A tip on the packet of Jelly Bags said not to squeeze the bags when the fruit/liquid mixture is in them or it can make the liquid cloudy – so resist the temptation to squeeze and prod!
  • When the liquid has seeped through the bags, this took about an hour or two, weigh it and empty it into a large pan.
  • Now weigh out the equivalent weight of sugar (liquid-sugar should be an qual ratio)
  • Bring the mixture to the boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Allow to cool to about 40 degrees (tepid) then strain again (if necessary) and bottle in clean/sterilised bottles.

I found this amount makes about four to five 75ml bottles. If you have smaller bottles that’s great as they will make perfect presents. The crême de mûres (or cassis, or myrtilles) is ready to drink after a couple of weeks and will keep indefinitely.

Cheers my friends ! Now who was first in the queue?

There was a teeny bit that didn’t fit into the bottles so was poured into a glass …….. someone had to make sure it was ok to drink ……. it tastes amazing! Syrupy and blackberry, you can’t taste the wine, but don’t be fooled, this is strong stuff!

So are you making any liqueurs this summer/autumn? I think the next batch I make will be Limoncello…….

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73 thoughts on “How to make Crème de Cassis or Crême de Mûres

  1. I actually have a bottle of Creme de cassis in my pantry as I love kir or kir royale though my budget is geared to kir petillant. :) No liquer making in my immediate future.

  2. Yummy! :D Don’t drink it all at once! ;-) Shame we don’t have blackberry bushes nearby… but I made some elderberry liqueur today (post coming soon!). Your picture of the jelly bag reminded me of my Mum’s “Bramble Jelly” – blackberries do have such a wonderful flavour.

  3. Oh, Claire,
    I never thought to use our berries this way! Sounds yummy. I wonder what jelly bags are made of; I couldn’t find any at our local hardware store (where we find our canning jars and other DIY food prep equipment). I wonder what they call this stuff made with raspberries?
    Shenandoah

  4. Your blog, Claire, is such a treat. From skiing the Alps to growing blackberries for your homemade creme de cassis, and a myriad of points in between, I never know what to expect when I visit. And I thoroughly enjoy the ride. Thank you.

  5. It sounds like a wonderful idea. Actually I’ve tasted the drink, and liked it very much. But what I admire the most in your handling of this project, is the way you managed to get the berries into the refrigerator without eating them first. I have no self control in the face of berries….

    • Hi Shimon, there were two things at play – 1) my desire for creme de mures and 2) I’m hedging my bets and hoping that there will still be plenty of blackberries to pick after I’ve made the liqueur !

  6. Love a delicious Kir Royale for an aperitif. My hat is off to you for making your own creme de cassis…I’m afraid my kitchen would be stained purple trying to strain the juice. Your finished product looks lovely.

  7. How interesting…I didn’t know you could make homemade creme de casis and hadn’t heard of creme de mure. How I wish I had the blackberries to make some. We made Kir Royales at a party last weekend, and I know the homemade creme de casis would have been absolutely killer by comparison to the mundane commercial stuff. I make cranberry liqueur which we use similarly…but this looks better! :)

  8. That looks glorious, I have a horrible feeling I have missed the blackberries – I will go this week and see – your photos are so lovely, I am overcome with desire to drop all the things I am supposed to be doing and rush out the door right now. I have some sloe and bullace gin/vodka from last autumn (in test mode we got the bottles confused) might have to do a quick test to see which (hic) one is which :)

    • Glorious is a great word. I still have blackberries on my plot – it’ slike there are two batches/growing seasons (early and late) so you may get lucky
      I love sloe gin, pure and simply love it! Happy hic testing :)

  9. Wow! I am so glad I stumbled upon your site! My hand is way up there! I love cassis and use it a lot in baking, too! And what great gifts they would make around the holidays. I’ve made Irish Cream before and it was more delicious than the original! So I am really looking forward to trying this. Your photos are wonderful!

    • Happy stumbling and I can see your hand above the queue :)
      I use it in fruit salads instead of sugar, works a treat but I haven’t thought about using it in baking, I see I need to explore a bit!
      And you made Irish Cream – that is simply outrageously brilliant. Do you have a recipe on your blog?

  10. Kir Royales bring up such happy memories for me — they are always part of a special occasion! So, of course my hand was high in the air…but I’m afraid I must be at the back of the line. Great job on the cassis. You’ll be very popular with your friends.

  11. I’m a dab hand at Damson Gin and Raspberry Vodka… but didn’t realise that this could be made at home. Great post – I’m going scrumping for blackberries ASAP!

  12. You are simply amazing!!! This looks fantastic … and that is too funny about the blackberries from last year. I haven’t collected any (except maybe 10 from the backyard) .. You’ve inspired me, though, this recipe looks scrumptious. :)

  13. I was out of town so I missed being first in line, Claire! But I’ll just follow the complete instructions and make my own! This is just a wonderful surprise recipe. I can imagine it goes down rather smoothly…thank you for the caution! :-) Debra

    • Hi Debra, there is plenty to go around – 5 bottles !! And it really was very easy to make, surpirsingly so. Hope you have a super week, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you got up to at the weekend :)

  14. Oh, dear, I think I’m the last in your line-up, Claire! I do hope there’s a wee bit left, I could use a Kir Royale right about now. (Ooops, it’s morning, that would be a bit risky, wouldn’t it?) Those jelly bags look perfect for this recipe.. are they difficult to find??

    • I aved you some :) Besides the bottles can’t be pened until the 22nd September !
      I found the jelly bags in a local kitchen/hardware shop, so I’m guessaing they are readily available, trust me if they are on sale in Hastings they’ll be on sale near you! If not I’ve seen them on the like of Amazon or Lakeland.

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  16. Thank you, this is a subject that is close to my heart. Where are
    your contact information though? My name’s Klara Dorsey and I’d get into this
    more deeply.

  17. HI there, the cassis is superb, I totally recommend making some! W’e’ve given away loads as presents, and as I discovered the other day it’s delicious if you add a drop to a bowl of strawberries :) I made Limoncello last year, but am not convinced, maybe I need the right recipe, or maybe I need the right lemons!

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