Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam

Jay loves blackberries. And the blackberries have looked great this year.

I have been wanting to make him a delicious blackberry treat for some time now. I had planned to make him some blackberry cupcakes filled with blackberry curd and topped with a lime cream cheese frosting for his birthday. Sounds awesome huh? But alas…you know that thing about plans and mice and men? Well, his birthday came and went and it didn’t happen 😦 He was kind enough to give me a rain check on those cupcakes though, so I’m determined to make good on my promise. Keep your eyes peeled for  the recipe here when I finally am able to make them appear. In the meantime, I was able to make him some Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam.

It has blackberries and bourbon, Jack Daniels to be specific, both things of which Jay is quite fond. And, with this jam, he will still have the fresh taste of blackberries stored away, long after their season is over. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway…You know, a good dose of justification to assuage the old guilt.

I’m happy to report Jay loves the jam. He’s been eating it on toast every morning since its creation and says its very tasty! I’ll have to take his word for it. I really don’t care for blackberries. Don’t like those crunchy seeds in them, which ironically is one of the things about them that Jay really likes. But this recipe wasn’t for me, it was for my fantastic, understanding and patient (still waiting for those cupcakes) husband. Lucky me!

Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam

Recipe adapted from See Brooke Cook

yields: 2 Half Pint (8 0z) Jars


  • 1 1/2 lbs  blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of Bourbon – I used Jack Daniels – a favourite around here!
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp butter


Wash the blackberries and toss them into a preserving pan, or any stainless steel pan you have. Lightly mash the berries with a wooden spoon to break them open, add the rest of the ingredients, but not the butter, and stir. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. Place a small plate in the freezer to test the jam’s consistency later if desired.

Fill a large pot with tap water. Submerge two 1/2 pint jars and their lids, making sure they are completely covered by the water. Boil the water.

After allowing the mixture to sit, start cooking it over medium-high heat. At this point, add the butter which will keep the mixture from frothing. The mixture will bubble vigorously. Eventually, the boil will subside to larger bubbles, but still bubble vigorously. Begin gently stirring the jam frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
After about 25 minutes you can begin testing the jam’s consistency if desired by placing a small amount on the cold plate, then allowing 30 seconds to pass. You can run your finger through it to see what the cooled consistency will be. Boil for a few minutes longer if you would like a thicker jam.

When the desired consistency is reached, ladle the jam into jars. If you’re going to gobble both jars up without delay, just place them in the refrigerator. If you would like to save one or both for later, screw rims onto jam jars. Using tongs, pick up the full jam jars and place them back into the boiling water for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, remove the jars and place them on the towel. As they cool, you should hear a ping type noise which tells you the jam jars are sealed. When you push down in the center of the top of the jar, there should be no click noise. Make sure the lids are sealed tightly. You’re done!


13 Responses to Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam

  1. Hello, I have 4 things to say, 2 amazingly positive, 2 constructive, I hope you don’t mind.

    Being constructive, I saw a picture of this recipe on your year anniversary post, but the photos linked to a larger photo rather than this post (which I had to then search through your recipe section for.) I really wanted to look at this recipe and got frustrated when clicking around didn’t work.

    The other bit is just me nitpicking about jack daniels not being a bourbon but that’s just being ocd 😉

    In terms of positivity, I absolutely adore your blog and the photos all look absolutely incredible.

    This recipe looks amazing, I will definitely be making this jam as soon as possible!

    Keep up the great work 🙂


    • liadh1 says:

      Thanks for your kind words and helpful critiques! I guess Jack Daniels prefers to call itself a “whisky” rather than bourbon. I must admit, I’m not that knowledgable about spirits. I did try to get a link on the photos back to the original blog post, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I may need some wordpress tutoring!

      • Baking I am relatively new to, but spirits are my thing!

        Jack Daniels is not allowed to call themselves a bourbon because one of the rules stipulates that you are not allowed to add anything to bourbon after barreling it. Because JD is filtered through maple charcoal afterwards it must be referred to as Tennessee whiskey.

        To add links to pictures when you are editing your post there is a button that says “Make link” it looks kind of like a chain link. If you click on a picture and then make link, it lets you link it to something, it also very helpfully gives you a list of your most recent posts to link too as well. If you are writing your blog in html, a quick google for “a href” tags is your friend.

        I hope I haven’t come across as an uppity know it all 😦

        I have added your chocolate merlot cupcakes to my “to do list” they sound amazing! Oh and congratulations on being freshly pressed.


      • liadh1 says:

        No, you don’t sound uppity in the least. The Jack Daniels info was quite interesting and I appreciate your critique and advice. Thanks so much. Good luck on the cupcakes. I hope you will stop by again in the future!

  2. Cesia says:

    Hi I was wondering what kind of jars you used and where i can buy them.. I want to do this for my wedding… thankssss

  3. […] scouring the internet for some interesting Blackberry jam recipes, I came across this one: Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam. Living with Bryan, we rarely have Bourbon but ALWAYS have whisky. After reading over the recipe […]

  4. Elliott says:

    I modified this recipe to add the zest of one orange to the lemon, and I used orange extract instead of vanilla. I made a 1.5x recipe because that’s how many blackberries I had, and this is a winner. It set up beautifully and made 3 1/2 cups of jam. Thank you, I think I just made the best Secret Santa gift ever!

  5. Sharon says:

    I’ve researched that it is not safe to can ingredients containing butter. How long did your jam last?

    • liadh1 says:

      From what I understand, using a small amount of butter to reduce foaming does very little to decrease the overall acidic level of the jam. I know many folks who do it and have no difficulty with their jams and jellies as far as shelf life. However, if adding the butter makes you a bit nervous, I just wouldn’t do it. You may notice a bit more foaming as you are cooking the fruit, but you can simply skim that off as it happens. Best of luck!

  6. Dan says:

    Looks like a great recipe and I can’t wait to try it. FYI, here’s the skinny on Jack and Bourbon, which are most definitely NOT the same thing. Jack Daniel’s is legally “Tennessee Whiskey” and NOT Bourbon. This is a matter of law and particularly a Tennessee law that specifies that anything called “Tennessee Whiskey” must go through the unique “mellowing” process that Mr. Jack perfected wayyy back when. What they do in Lynchburg is actually make their own charcoal by burning sugar maple, then grind that into a pea-gravel sized consistency and pack it in very tall towers and then slowly drip the fresh-from-the-still whiskey OVER the charcoal so it trickles down–taking about 2 days to make the trip–and comes out with a wonderful and unique smokey sweetness. It is then aged in oak in various ways and bottled at various strengths based on the specific brand variant. For example, “Gentleman Jack” varies from the standards “Old No. 7” in that it goes through the charcoal mellowing tower TWICE. Now Bourbon can be fine stuff to be sure, but there is a very distinct difference (something the Jack Daniel’s parent company, Brown-Foreman, which is based in Kentucky and makes a whole lot of bourbon under various brands too, certainly knows.) Anyhow, it really is a different flavor profile and that mellow sweetness certainly is one reason why your recipe tastes as wonderful as I’m sure it does and why I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

    • liadh1 says:

      Thanks for the great info on Jack Daniels. I do admit that another reader had also informed me that Jack Daniels was not bourbon but was whiskey. I should really just change the name of the recipe 🙂 I hope you will enjoy it once you make up a batch. Let me know how it goes.

  7. Cyndi says:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I substituted orange zest for lemon, almond extract for vanilla, and used amaretto for the alcohol since it was all I had in my pantry. Came out yummy.

  8. […] Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam – Lea & Jay, source : […]

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