Guess what – I’m moving! Details will come at a later date, but suffice to say that I’m quite excited about what’s in store for me. And guess what else – this means that I need to start using up everything consumable in my kitchen. Such as the many bags/boxes of dried pasta that I’ve accumulated due to my fascination with unusual pasta shapes and flavors. The dried chickpeas my mother insisted on giving me during one of my trips back home, which I haven’t made anything with because I’m too lazy to soak them. The several bottles of alcohol that were bought for culinary experiments or simply because the description drew me in (disappointingly, blackberry wine does not taste like blackberries), but which in reality just somehow became promptly forgotten.
That’s how I arrived at this strawberry infused vodka. Let’s be honest, I’m not really into vodka, and have mostly stayed away from hard liquor in general ever since I accidentally drank too much tequila at my birthday last year and spent the rest of the night fighting a losing battle to keep the contents of my stomach where they belonged. These days, I stick to wine or, more often, very sweet and girly cocktails, my preferred drink of choice anyway (I’m not ashamed!). Which explains why, even though I bought a bottle of vodka many moons ago to make a vodka cream sauce, I haven’t touched it since. Instead, it’s been relegated to the bottom shelf of my cabinet, where it languished alongside some Luna bars that have been there so long they’re evolving into a previously-unknown lifeform.
But then this recipe started making the rounds in the food blogosphere, and all those pictures of bright strawberry-red drinks caught my attention. Could this actually be a vodka that I’d enjoy, while simultaneously furthering my kitchen-clearing mission? Yes! And even better, this recipe is easy, perfect for mid-July when we’re smack-dab in those lazy hazy crazy days of summer and a complicated recipe is the last thing you want to fiddle around with when you could be sitting outside eating your third ice cream cone of the day. Basically, all you do is combine strawberries and vodka in a jar, let them get to know each other for a few days, and then, miraculously, you end up with a beautiful, brilliantly red concoction that looks, smells, and tastes like the essence of summer.
Strawberry Infused Vodka
Yields about 4 cups
It’s important to use organic strawberries for this because, as Mr. Timberlake explains, not only is the vodka extracting color and flavor from the strawberries, but possibly chemicals as well. So buy organic berries, and even then it’s still advisable to wash them thoroughly. Also, try to find the sweetest berries possible, as that’s obviously going to have a corresponding effect on the flavor of the drink.
One bottle (750 ml) vodka
2 pints of strawberries, preferably organic
Thoroughly rinse strawberries, then hull and quarter them. Place strawberries in a lidded container. Add vodka, cover with lid, and shake.
Store container in a cool, dark place for 3-7 days, agitating a couple of times a day.
After 3-7 days, pour out contents and strain into another container. The original recipe suggests using a cheese cloth or coffee filter; I didn’t have either and just used a fine mesh strainer, which worked fine. (You may be temped to eat the strawberries. Um, don’t. They don’t taste very good at this point.)
Store in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator. Can be kept for up to several weeks.