Strawberry Liqueur

Back home in England the strawberry season heralds the arrival of summer. The traditional season is a relatively short one, stretching from mid-June through July, which happily coincides with the Wimbledon tennis tournament where strawberries and cream are consumed in notorious quantities.
Strawberry Liqueur from britinthesouth.com
Here in Georgia, the climate means strawberries are a spring crop, their delicate nature unable to stand up to the temperatures and humidity of a southern summer. So April invariably sees us paying a visit or two to Southern Belle Farm, our favourite pick your own place. It takes less than an hour to get there but it is good to get away from town and feel the sun on your back and the birdsong in your ears as you fill a few baskets with fresh berries. Strawberry Liqueur from britinthesouth.comWe invariably get carried away with our picking which means our bucolic trip to the country is followed by a strawberry processing marathon once we’re back in the kitchen, but it’s worth it if we never have to go to a supermarket to buy strawberry jam, or on a dark winter evening we can sip a jewel red strawberry liqueur which instantly transports us back to those sunny fields.
Strawberry Liqueur from britinthesouth.com

As usual we brought back a huge haul of strawberries. Some we simply ate while they were fresh but the bulk of what we picked were quickly transformed into three different types of jam, strawberry lemonade concentrate, strawberry shrub and strawberry champagne truffles. Some were pureed and frozen whilst others were pickled. We still had enough left to infuse in alcohol to preserve that beautifully fresh taste to sip in the future. Preserving strawberries from britinthesouth.comInfusions are a simple yet delicious way to preserve a glut of fruit. My introduction to them many years ago was the classic British hedgerow tipple of sloe gin. Sloes were abundant close to where I used to live in London and turning them into a liqueur is pretty simple.

Strawberry Liqueur from britinthesouth.comI would describe the process as more of a formula than a recipe: simply fill a jar to the top with fruit, add sugar to approximately a third of the level of the fruit, and then fill the jar with your alcohol of choice. It can be sloes and gin, blackberries and whisky, or in this case, strawberries and vodka. I usually leave this strawberry infusion for around six months before straining and bottling. The resulting liqueur is a beautiful shade of red and still carries a delicious taste of fresh strawberries. Of course, if you make a batch every year you will still have some previous vintages to enjoy while the current one matures.

Homemade strawberry liqueur from britinthesouth.comFor good measure I also infused a small batch of strawberries in bourbon without adding sugar. Something I haven’t tried before and I look forward to seeing how those turn out. I plan to enjoy the 2015 strawberry season for many months to come.

9 thoughts on “Strawberry Liqueur

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