Our homemade Pacharan recipe is a beautiful cherry red, fresh and fruity sloe liqueur with a delicious background flavour of aniseed, vanilla and coffee.
What is Pacharan?
Pacharan is a sloe berry, and anise flavoured Spanish liqueur. Also known as Patxaran in the Basque language, it originated in this area in Medieval times. Historically believed to have medicinal properties, Pacharan is traditionally served at the end of a meal, to aid digestion.
Here in the UK we traditionally use our sloe berries to make sloe gin. Unlike sloe gin which benefits from long maturation, Pacharan recipes limit the length of time that the sloe berries are allowed to macerate in their aniseed-flavoured spirit. This results, in my opinion, in a much fresher and fruitier tasting infusion than its British counterpart.
What are sloe berries?
Sloes are the fruit of the Blackthorn shrub (Prunus Spinosa). A member of the plum family, blackthorn gets its name from its dark bark and spiky thorns. Its twigs are black with leaf buds along the sharp spines, and the leaves are oval with a toothed edge.
The sour blue-black fruits measure about 1cm across and ripen from around September to December. Raw, the fruit is super tart and astringent, but like many wild fruits, they make an excellent, jewel-like jelly, as well as delicious liqueurs.
You can find lots more information on how to identify and when to pick sloe berries in my best sloe gin recipe and more delicious sloe berry recipes over on my natural farming and foraging blog – The Forage Field.
What you need to make Pacharan Liqueur
- 300g sloe berries
- 750ml Anise
- Three coffee beans
- One vanilla pod
Glass Jar (Amazon affiliate link) that seals well enough that you can get away with giving it a shake without it all leaking out and pretty glass bottles (Amazon affiliate link ) for when it is ready.
Note on aniseed based spirits: I used a traditional Spanish anise drink for my Pacharan recipe. You can see the brand I used in the photo below.
Try the aniseed base before adding the other ingredients to check its taste. Mine was already sweet, so I didn’t add any extra sugar to my infusion.
If you end up using an aniseed-flavoured spirit that tastes stronger than you would like, you can dilute it with vodka before adding the other ingredients.
How to make Pacharan
Pop the sloe berries, coffee beans and vanilla pods into a clean glass jar. I used fresh, ripe berries. If you have frozen sloes, there is no need to defrost.
The eagle-eyed might spot that I doubled the recipe here, so have more coffee beans and vanilla pods than stated in the recipe above.
Pour in the anise, and seal with a tight-fitting lid.
Leave to infuse in a cool, dark spot for 6-8 weeks, giving it a shake when you remember. It is advised not to leave the sloes macerating for longer than eight weeks in this particular infusion, or you may find your sloe and aniseed liqueur becomes bitter.
Once the Pacharin has infused for the allotted time, strain through muslin and store in glass bottles.
How to store and serve Pacharan
Store the bottled Pacharan in a cool, dark place. This Spanish sloe liqueur is at its best when drunk within two years of making.
Serve chilled, in small glasses as a digestive after a meal.
If you have enjoyed our Pacharan recipe, why not check out some of our other wonderful foraged and hedgerow liqueurs and infusions. You can find a list of our favourites below.
Beech Leaf Noyau is a traditional liqueur made from young leaves of the Beech tree. The leaves are gathered in spring while they are soft and sticky and still have a translucent, delicate look to them.
When I created this Himalayan Balsam Gin recipe, I had no idea of the surprise that was lying in wait for me. A magical colour-changing gin infusion!
Foraged Wild Horseradish and Ground Ivy Infused Vodka is a wonderfully peppery infusion. Perfect for adding to tomato juice or savoury dishes.
I can’t promise that our Homemade Rosehip liqueur will stop you catching a cold, but it’ll certainly cheer you up if you do have one.
This simple hazelnut liqueur recipe only takes minutes to prepare but results in a deliciously rich and smooth nut flavoured liqueur that is perfect for gifting.