If you haven’t heard of crème de mure yet, it’s a French blackberry liqueur with a lovely sweet, fruity flavor and tart undertone.
It tastes as luxurious as it sounds, having a velvety consistency perfect to drink on its own as a digestif or when added to cocktails. For those who love the Bramble cocktail, crème de mure is its major ingredient!
So, what happens if your liqueur cabinet holds no crème de mure and you can’t find it in the liqueur store?
Duh! The solution is to use a crème de mure substitute you can find at home or in your local liqueur store!
We list down the best alternatives to this refreshing blackberry liqueur, so read on!
- The Best Crème de Mure Substitute
- The Best Non-Alcoholic Crème de Mure Substitute
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping It Up
The Best Crème de Mure Substitute
Crème de mure is a dark purple liqueur made out of juicy blackberries. This was crafted by French artisans in Dijon, France, back in the 1800s and has grown in popularity thanks to the velvety rich, and almost jam-like consistency. It tastes powerful and layered, as you get a mix of rich, bold, sweet, bright, jammy, and fruity simultaneously!
Fun fact: Crème de mure was traditionally made from the finest wild blackberries across Chile, Europe, and Morocco. These blackberries were macerated in a neutral base spirit.
You can use crème de mure in many cocktails, like the Bramble, or use it for desserts. If you have no crème de mure available, not to worry! We’ve listed down options you can use as a crème de mure substitute.
Fun fact: Crème de mure has an ABV of 16-20%, fairly lower than strong spirits like vodka or gin.
1. Crème de Cassis
Crème de cassis is the best crème de mure substitute because of its similar flavor and ready availability!
You’ll most likely find a bottle in your local liqueur store.
While crème de cassis is made of black currants instead of blackberries, they share the similarly sweet berry flavor with that subtle tang.
We recommend getting a brand with a lot of berry flavor, like Drillaud, Massenez, Hiram Walker, and Lejay.
Fun fact: Crème de cassis has a controversial past. In the latter half of the 1800s, US distillers started growing blackcurrants, producing their own crème de cassis liqueurs. However, American production suddenly stopped when the federal government banned blackcurrant production due to the presence of white pine rust, which threatened the timber industry.
Fortunately, disease-resistant strains started coming in 1966 when local American governments chose to lift the blackcurrant ban. Now, creme de cassis is famous around the USA, too!
And we’re glad we’ve got crème de cassis around because it’s not only a great crème de mure substitute but great to drink on its own.
Pro-tip: Use crème de cassis for cocktails like the Black Demure and Kir Royale.
This is a premium raspberry liqueur that bartenders all over the world respect. Use this as a crème de mure substitute in cocktails like the Berry Flip, Wibble, Manhattan, Margarita, or the Apple and Blackberry Spritz.
Chambord is made with the best quality black and red raspberries infused with ingredients like blackberries, herbs, XO cognac, and Madagascan vanilla. That way, your liqueur has a unique taste, and an even more complex one compared to Crème de Mure!
That said, it’s important to note that Chambord is sweeter, has a thing texture, and doesn’t have the similar punchy blackberry flavor that crème de mure features. What you can do is add a bit more Chambord but reduce other sweeteners.
3. Crème de Framboise
If you love raspberry flavors, then you’ll also love crème de framboise! The flavor isn’t the same but it still makes a great crème de mure substitute thanks to its brighter and slightly tangier flavor.
We recommend using this crème de mure substitute in any cocktail requiring a crème de mure, like the Godfrey, Black and White Daiquiri, and Pontberry Martini. You can also use this liqueur for sweet recipes that will benefit from more berry flavor.
4. Blackberry Brandy
While blackberry brandy isn’t the most ideal, it works as a crème de mure substitute when you’re in a pinch and you’ve only got brandy in the liqueur cabinet. Brandy is stronger, so add half the amount or less of it to drinks like the Moraldo, La Rosa Margarita, or the London Scramble.
Make sure you taste-test your drink before adding more brandy or serving it. Also, note that if you will make a Bramble, the brandy easily overpowers the gin, so your drink’s refreshing quality won’t be as stellar.
5. Make a Homemade Crème de Mure Substitute
If you’ve got time and want to experiment with creating your own liqueur, why not try making homemade crème de mure? It’s fairly easy, though the process can take a few days. Here’s a recipe to follow:
- 600 grams of fresh or frozen blackberries
- 750 milliliters of red wine
- 500 grams of sugar
- A large glass of gin or vodka
- Pick your blackberries, removing any leaves or stalks. Place it in a large glass or ceramic bowl, then pour your wine. Using a potato masher, crush your fruit into the wine, then cover it with a tea towel, leaving it to macerate in a cool area for two days. Mash the mixture occasionally. If you live in a hot area, you can place the mixture in the fridge.
- Use a plastic sieve to pour the mixture, passing it again through a colander with a square of muslin. This will remove bits.
- Pour the juice into a pan, adding the sugar. On medium to low heat, stir your mixture gently, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Afterward, stir in your gin and vodka.
- Pour the liquid into bottles, sealing and labeling them. You can use it right away or store the bottles in a cool, dry area away from any direct sunlight. These bottles of homemade crème de mure can last for up to one year!
Pro-tip: Use in-season berries as they are cheaper and filled with flavor. Also, choose high-quality red wines like merlot, shiraz, and Nebbiolo. Lastly, do not use flavored vodka or gin as this will alter the flavor.
The Best Non-Alcoholic Crème de Mure Substitute
We’ve got a section made for those who hate alcohol or want to serve mocktails to the party! If you don’t want to use crème de mure for its alcohol content, here are non-alcoholic alternatives to look into:
6. Blackberry Syrup
Cordial or blackberry syrup is an excellent crème de mure substitute with its pronounced blackberry flavor. It’s also extremely sweet, which may suit those with a sweet tooth.
But if you don’t like your drink or recipes overly sweet, then add only half the amount of blackberry syrup a recipe asks for. You can always taste test and add more as you go!
7. Blackberry Puree
We love using blackberry puree as a crème de mure substitute for baking. It’s a decent alternative for cakes, pies, puddings, and other similar desserts.
You can purchase blackberry puree in the grocery store or make your own. Simply prepare a cup of fresh or thawed blackberries in a bowl, muddling them with a spoonful of sugar. After pureeing it, you can now add it to your baked goods and desserts!
Pro-tip: While you can use blackberry jam, jelly, or currant, it may be too sweet and thick. You can dilute it with water to suit your recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any questions about crème de mure? Learn more about it here:
1. Where do you find crème de mure and other blackberry liquors?
You can easily find crème de mure in European countries but it, unfortunately, isn’t as popular in the United States. There may be liqueur or online stores that sell them!
If not, you can go for other kinds of blackberry liqueurs, with many popular brands on the market. We recommend respected brand names like Giffard, Marie Brizard, Bols, and Drillaurd.
2. How do you consume crème de mure?
Crème de mure is a sweet, bright, and bold drink you can enjoy as an aperitif or digestif. As mentioned, it’s also popular in the Bramble cocktail. You can also find it in cocktails like The Ridgewell, Apple Black Royale, Dramble, and the Martini.
3. What’s a good Bramble cocktail recipe?
To make a Bramble cocktail, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 ½ ounce of gin
- ¾ ounce of freshly-squeezed lime juice
- ¾ ounce of simple syrup
- ½ to 2/4 ounce of crème de mure
- Lime wheel to garnish
- Two raspberries or blackberries to garnish
Simply mix your liquid ingredients (except the crème de mure) in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, then strain over crushed ice. Drizzle your crème de mure then add the garnishes for flair.
Fun fact: The Bramble was created in 1984 by Dick Bradsell, a UK bartender.
Wrapping It Up
Finding the best crème de mure substitute isn’t such a huge challenge.
There is a lot to choose from, such as Chambord or crème de cassis, which are readily available in stores. If you’re a non-drinker or want to cook, then blackberry syrup will work just as well.
The next time you’re out of crème de mure, go back to our list and find the best crème de mure substitute suitable for your cocktail or dessert.
Good luck and enjoy your happy hours with the right liqueur or mocktail!