Blackberry Vanilla Bourbon Jam

September 23, 2013

Some time ago after seeing bourbon-soaked blackberries on the internet, I had gotten the idea of a blackberry bourbon jam stuck in my head, but never got around to developing a recipe and making it. I finally got this beautiful Hudson bourbon (another thing I’ve been dying to try) and after doing some research, saw this recipe that called for the addition of vanilla. I couldn’t think of three flavors that complimented each other better. The result is a sweet and mellow blackberry jam that has a bold, but subtle, touch of bourbon. I added no pectin to this jam but used some techniques to help develop the pectin in the blackberries, like using young blackberries, adding lemon rind to the jam, and mashing the blackberries with sugar. I love the seeds in a fruit jam so kept them all in, but you could also strain out seeds from half the blackberries. This flavorful jam is just perfect on a slice of buttered toast, but stay tuned tomorrow to see how I use it in one of my favorite treats!

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  • 1 pound of blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon of bourbon
  • tip of a lemon, about 1 inch

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Place 3 spoons in the freezer. Split a vanilla bean and scrap the beans using the back of your knife. Place blackberries in a pot and add sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean, and bourbon and using a potato masher or fork, mash the blackberries. Add the lemon tip and let the fruit macerate for a couple hours.

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Heat pot on medium and adjust heat so fruit is at a gentle boil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes. During this time, check if the jam has set by testing it on the frozen spoons. Pour some jam over the back of a frozen spoon and if the liquid doesn’t run off the spoon, the jam is set.

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Let the jam cool and store in jars.

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Blackberry jam

(images by HonestlyYUM)


I made this bourbon jam and it was a bit watery. So I put it back in the pan and cooked it a little longer. Should I let it cool before I add it to the jars? Should I add the jars to the freezer for it to thicken Or just put it in the fridge? Thank you

This jam is delicious! I will definitely make it again. I ended up with 1 1/4 cups of jam.


If you wanted to can this recipe so that I could send some to friends in VA — could you? If so, what would the recommended time be?

Have you used this recipe with water bath preserving? or did you just store in the pantry? if so, how long does it last? Thank you so much!! I am excited to try this.

Do you leave the lemon in for the cooking process or just while macerating? Also, do you think this would work with frozen berries?

Do you leave the lemon in while cooking the fruit or just while its macerating?

What a stunning color to your jam! From the description and beautiful photos, I can almost taste the tang of blackberry with the soft vanilla and that hint of bourbon on my tongue already.

I adore this! What a beautiful recipe. The deep color along with the flavors you’ve put into this are wonderful.

This may just be the most beautiful jam I’ve ever seen. It’s cool to eat a whole jam of jar with just a spoon, right?

I just got into a bourbon kick too this past weekend and made bourbon-chocolate sauce! I love this use in fruit!

This is great combination. Blackberries are so underrated. Have to see if I can still find some. And try to make this. 🙂

Hope you do find some! Good thing about this recipe is that the berries don’t have to be super ripe.

I was experimenting with strawberries and bourbon a lot last year. This year, I’ve enjoyed blueberries and bourbon. While, I’ve never actually had blackberries and bourbon, I’m sure it’s a tasty combination. The smoky, vanillay, caramely notes of bourbon pair so nicely with the sweet acidity of berries.

Strawberries and blueberries?? Okay, you’re a bourbon-berry expert! Will have to experiment with those too.

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