In Praise of Fraise

(c) Leigh Beisch
You're walking through a field of grass dotted with wild strawberries. The ground is damp and uneven, a shifting carpet. You try not to tread on the treasured fruit, but every now and then you miscalculate, creating an invisible cloud of strawberry-scented air, and you thank the gods who grace us with gifts for our clumsiness. This liqueur is single-minded: It thinks of nothing but ripe strawberries, and in its simplistic innocence it sings sweetly.
 
  • 2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced, or 1 1/2 pounds frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups Simple Syrup 
  • 1 fifth (750 ml/3 1/4 cups) vodka (80-100 proof)
Muddle the strawberries and simple syrup with a wooden spoon in a half-gallon jar. Stir in the vodka.
 
Seal the jar and put it in a cool, dark cabinet until the liquid smells and tastes strongly of strawberries, about 7 days.
 
Strain the mixture with a mesh strainer into a clean quart jar. Do not push on the solids to extract more liquid.
 
Seal and store in a cool, dark cabinet. Use within 1 year.
 
Santé! Perfect for sipping on a summer day, for spiking a Cosmo, for dabbing behind each ear.

Excerpted from Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits © by Andrew Schloss, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Yield: 
Makes about 1 quart

  • A look at the history of sugar, from art and language to 3-D printing

    Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.

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