Encouraged by the success of my Crème de Cassis over the summer, I went back to Fishkill Farms to pick strawberries. Picking strawberries is tough work, choosing the ripest berries on all fours in 100 F temperatures under scorching sun, but it’s well worth the effort. Some of the berries made their way into delicious preserves, but there were still plenty left to make liqueur. And while strawberries don’t benefit from the same flavor transformation as black currants when you blend with alcohol, the result is still quite good!
Yields almost 1 qt
1 1/2 lb hulled strawberries
1 1/2 lb 100-proof Stolichnaya vodka
up to 1/2 lb sugar (see below)
- Processing in small batches, briefly crush the strawberries in a food processor or a blender on low speed. You want each berry to be chopped into a few pieces to release the juices, without crushing the seeds.
- In a large bowl, mix the strawberries and the vodka. Transfer to plastic containers, dividing the berries more or less equally and filling the containers to the top. Cover and let macerate for 1 month in a dark, cool place.
- Pass the mixture through a chinois, pressing the berries with a spatula or a ladle. Pass the liquid through the chinois a second time without using the spatula. Weigh the liquid, and weigh 20% of that weight in sugar. Proceeding in batches, mix the liquid and the sugar in a blender on low speed for 5 minutes. Taste the result to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Transfer the liqueur to bottles, and cork.