After patiently waiting my almost four weeks for the vodka to extract all that fantastic strawberry flavour, today was the big reveal. I wish I could convey the full aroma of the liqueur and its perfect strawberry smell; it’s like opening “June”. The process was really simple and in a nutshell: Take some berries, throw some vodka over them, put them in a cool dark place and gently shake once a week until the four weeks are up. To complete the liqueur, I strained the berries in a large coffee filter nestled in a fine mesh strainer for crystal clear liquid and poured it into a hot and clean 1 L mason jar, where it will reside in a low traffic cupboard so it won’t lose its colour from sunlight exposure. Another idea is to get fancy and fill dark green, 250 mL wine bottles and cork it so it’s ready for gift giving. The dark green will help protect it from colour loss. (Full instructions on how to begin found here.)
My batch yielded about 2.5 cups and although I had the best of intentions of using this as Christmas presents, one whiff and I realized I couldn’t bear to part with it. It really is that good.
It started like this:
And turned into this:
I tried serving the strained, boozy strawberries with a sweetened ricotta dish when I made for company and while they enjoyed the berry-turned-shooter, it was agreed that I should find another use for them. Given that I hate wasting food and they still had a lot of strawberry flavour, I decided to repurpose them into this:
Rhubarb Pineapple Strawberry Preserve
* Actually, it’s closer to Kitchen Sink Preserve as I had some leftover crushed pineapple that needed to be used, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Yields: Almost 5×250 mL
4 cups diced rhubarb (frozen works fine)
1 small can of crushed pineapple, with juice
1 cup strawberries, from the strawberry liqueur
2 1/2 – 3 cups sugar
2 tbsp strawberry liqueur
1. Combine pineapple, strawberries and rhubarb and bring to a boil over medium heat.
2. When the fruit has broken down to your liking (I prefer my rhubarb more on the stewed side), add your sugar and return to a boil, stirring until jam has thickened to your liking, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add strawberry liqueur. Pour into hot, clean jars and process at 10 minutes in your boiling water bath.
These are not pectin rich ingredients and I was aiming for a very soft set and something to spoon over my morning porridge or blend into yogurt. The strawberry flavour really shines through and balances nicely with the pineapple and rhubarb. A great, impromptu preserve that takes very little effort. Enjoy!