I was browsing at a liquor store a while back (doesn’t everyone do that!) and I came across one lonely bottle of strawberry vodka. It wasn’t very expensive, and I was definitely tempted, but sometimes flavored anything can have a chemical flavor instead of a natural flavor. And it seems like strawberry flavor can be the worst if it’s fake. So I passed. But instead, I decided to make my own.
We had an extremely late strawberry season, so at the beginning of June when I made the vodka, the strawberries were abundant and inexpensive.
My garden was producing a lot of strawberries, but I’m too selfish to use my home-grown berries for this vodka. They’re just too fun to pick and eat. Warm. Besides, the grocery store berries were very good and sweet.
I’m not sure if this will end up a strawberry vodka or a strawberry liqueur – I’m kind of hitting it in the middle. And I won’t know the results for a couple of weeks. I’ve sampled a lot of flavored vodkas – especially at wine festivals – but I’ve never come across a strawberry version, except that lone bottle at the liquor store. So I’m a bit excited.
Sweet Strawberry Vodka
Rinse and dry 2 pounds of fresh strawberries. Have 1/2 gallon of good vodka on standby – I used a Texas import called Tito’s.
Stem them, slice in half, and then place them in a large bowl. Cover the berries with 1 cup of sugar and toss them to coat.
Place the berry mush in as many sterilized bottles as you decide to use. I decided to divide mine into three batches.
Then add the vodka.
Shake them up well, cover with sterilized lids, and place the bottles in a cool place for 2 weeks.
After 2 weeks, strain the vodka. Interestingly enough, the strawberries turned white, but the vodka turned a very pretty pink!
The vodka came out with a definite strawberry flavor, a bit sweet, which is fine, but certainly not sweet like a liqueur. Perfect.
Now what to do with the vodka. I have a lot of ideas. First I tried it with 1/2 and 1/2. Delicious. Then, I added fresca to the same drink. Fabulous! It was like a strawberry vodka-flavored Italian ice!
Then, I just tried it with fresca by itself, because I enjoy the combination of unflavored vodka and fresca. Also fabulous – with a nice strawberry flavor, but not overly sweet.
Then for my final test of the strawberry flavored vodka, I made a martini of sorts for my husband (they’re just too strong for me.) I added equal parts strawberry vodka, Chambord (raspberry liqueur), and vodka. It turned out to be a very pretty color, and he said it was dynamite, and that I might like it. But, I like cocktails a little more diluted so I passed. The Berry Martini is pictured in the featured photo.
S V with lemonade
S V with Chambord and champagne
S V with champagne or prosecco
S V with lemon sorbet and champagne
S V with tonic…
verdict: I will make this every spring!