Last summer we went strawberry picking. I enjoyed it so much I ended up with far too many strawberries. Some we ate fresh, of course – with and without cream. I made a lot into strawberry jam (though it didn't set so I have several jars of what I'm calling strawberry sauce for ice-cream!). And some went into strawberry ice-cream.
The rest I decided to make into strawberry vodka, having been inspired by friends' efforts.
First, I weighed my hulled and chopped strawberries. I wanted something sweet and rich so I used an equal weight of fruit and sugar. You can use less, of course – as little as half weight of the fruit. My friend recommended using about 1.25 to 1.5 times spirit to weight of fruit. I chose vodka but you can use gin, if you prefer.
With my three ingredients measured out, I divided them between five jars (somwhat approximately, since the jars were different sizes), sealed them tightly and left them in the (dark, cool) larder for just over 6 months.
For the first few weeks, I shook and turned them once a week or so. After that, I left them untouched.
By the time I went back to them, the colour had leached out of the fruit and into the vodka. The liquid seemed much more viscous than the original vodka.
Pete had to help me open the jars; the lids on four of them were jammed on very tight indeed! I strained the contents through muslin straight into a large measuring jug, the easier to then bottle it.
I deliberately mixed the results of all five jars together as I figured some might be more or less sweet or more or less alcoholic, as I'd not shared the ingredients exactly according to the different jar sizes. I wanted a single finished liqueur.
The results are absolutely fantastic!
I've called it a strawberry vodka liqueur rather than just strawberry vodka because it's really thick and syrupy, very rich and sweet and has a really strong flavour.
We poured it into some saved alcohol bottles to store.
I didn't make much as I didn't realise how fabulous it would be but my plan is to make lots more next strawberry season so that I can share it as gifts for friends.
P.S. The alcohol soaked fruit wasn't wasted – we had it alongside some home-made lemon posset that evening!
Homemade Strawberry Vodka Liqueur
Strawberries, chopped, hulled and weighed
Sugar (same weight as strawberries)
Vodka (1.25 times weight/volume of strawberries)
- Combine ingredients and seal into an airtight glass jar.
- For the first few weeks, shake and turn regularly, to help the sugar dissolve and flavours mix.
- Leave to mature for at least 3-4 months; the longer the better.
- Strain through muslin for a clearer finished result.
- Bottle and enjoy for as long as it lasts!