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Strawberry Liqueur

by Florian

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!

Strawberry liqueur
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.

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CorkAndSpoon December 4, 2011 - 22:17

How lovely! A friend of mine and his wife did this with cranberries. Without the sugar it would just be infused vodka, right? ~Ruth

Florian December 7, 2011 - 14:27

Pretty much, yes.

Amber Pixie December 6, 2011 - 11:46

I do this with any spare fruit or herbs or well, anything I have laying around the house!

I’ve found that my favorite method for Strawberry liqueur is to do it first as an infused vodka (minus the sugar) and replace the berries a couple of times to ramp up the strawberry flavor. Then make a simple syrup to add, and voila!

Your images are beautiful…the glass and bottle reflected in the counter is lovely. 🙂

Florian December 7, 2011 - 14:29

Interesting… Now, I guess I would have been able to mix more berries with the same amount of vodka, which should produce more or less the same result.

tarc December 7, 2011 - 17:44

For the second year, we made a strawberry liquor this spring. Ours is exquisite, but we have the advantage of Michigan strawberries (which I think are far better in season than any other strawberries I’ve ever come across in my wide travels). A peak season, it’s hard to get the dang things home in the car between the farm and my kitchen because they are so mouthwateringly aromatic and sweet. The only thing that tops the strawberry liquor is the wild strawberry liquor, made with the tiniest Michigan wild strawberries, but you can only do a tiny bottle because they are very hard to find and very expensive. I did make a batch of in season California one year, and it was not even close to the same. I don’t crush my berries, though – just careful slicing and a six week, cool dark extraction in a medium quality vodka (usually Skyy). We then strain, add sugar, and age another six weeks.

Florian December 7, 2011 - 21:06

Wild strawberries are definitely in a league of their own, but like you said, they’re so hard to find! In Russia, they’re usually available at the market. Sometimes I’m tempted to arrange my travel plans just around their season.

Sissy Gunn Astore June 17, 2014 - 11:36

How much vodka do I need for about 2lbs of wild strawberries?

Florian June 17, 2014 - 11:42

Hi Sissy, 1 quart.


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