It's needless to say that strawberry is a very popular flavor. I love strawberry flavors and when I decided to make a strawberry liqueur I had no idea what to expect as I had never tried a store-bought strawberry liqueur before. I've had so many strawberry flavored sweet foods and that I guess that is what I expected, but I know well enough now that with alcohol infusion the flavors you expect don't always come through.
I chose to go organic with this recipe, and I will be trying to do this more often. I've read too much about the fungicides and pesticides on conventional ingredients to ignore organics when they are available.
Finding strawberry liqueur recipes was easy around the net and they were all very similar. Cut up a bunch of strawberries and cover them with alcohol, add spices, honey, etc. I wanted to keep it simple so I took from the simplest recipes and made my own variant.
Homemade Strawberry Liqueur recipe #1
- 3 pints organic strawberries
- 1/2 cup clover honey
- 1/2 cup simple syrup (or just white sugar and water to make the syrup)
- 4 cups 80 proof vodka
- large, seal-able jar for infusing
1. It's important to note that my strawberries sat in the fridge until they were mushy and probably close to a state where some people wouldn't eat them. Despite the mushiness and their appearance, most fruit and berries are still perfectly fine to eat when it looks bad on the outside (sometimes even better tasting).
2. Quarter all of the strawberries, place into the infusing jar or container.
3. Pour 4 cups of 80 proof vodka over the strawberries. This should cover the strawberries
4. Seal infusing container and let steep for 3 - 4 weeks. Shake up the container every few days, or at least once a week.
5. Make up a small batch of simple syrup (at least 1/2 cup) then combine with 1/2 cup clover honey. I personally cooked up the simple syrup on the stove and added the clover honey after I had turned off the heat and let it cool to just warm. Set aside the sweet mixture to cool. It's important to note that you will only use 3/4 cup of this mixture.
6. Strain and filter the strawberry and vodka mixture
7. Add 3/4 cup only of the sweet mixture to the strained and filtered strawberry vodka. Stir or shake well to combine.
8. Place the final mixture in an aging container to sit at least a month. Enjoy after aging!
Sipping, smelling and thinking
This liqueur won't disappoint the eyes. Red, almost amber-red if that is possible. Depending on the lighting you'll get a orange-red to an amber-red. It'll look great in a decorative bottle or gift wrappings.
It's worth noting that at the time of this review the Strawberry liqueur has aged nearly 1 year and 3 months. I got lazy for a long while and haven't been writing much.
Floral is what I think when it hits my nose. Flowers, bouquet, maybe some orange and spice type notes. It's fairly subtle and not too strong, has a hint of acidity to the aroma. This type of aroma I think is polarizing; some may find it sickly and others may be really attracted to it.
The interesting thing about this homemade Strawberry liqueur is that it doesn't taste like strawberries. You may have noticed that about many fruit flavored foods and drinks. Often it is some component of the flavor that is passed through in processing, but never the entire flavor or smell of the food in it's natural state.
In the case of this liqueur I think it does carry a lot of strawberry flavor. The tart and acidity of the strawberries are carried into the liqueur in a very balanced way. The clover honey sweetens it just enough and doesn't overpower the acid tart berry flavor. Alcohol bite is hidden enough that even a new drinker might enjoy this straight or on ice.
During the aging, I did open this liqueur a few times to taste it. I'll say that within the first few months it wasn't too appealing to me. At first it was much too acidic and the more subtle flavors didn't come through. After mellowing for nearly a year now I think its definitely near a peak. My wife and I both enjoy it right now, which is unusual because she normally gravitates towards really sweet drinks and I enjoy a range of bitter, sour and tart drinks.
Opening this one several times before testing may have changed the flavor drastically compared to having a sealed bottle. I need to start double batching and using many small permanently sealed bottles. That way I can try them at different points without exposing the whole batch.
Finally, I think this would be good straight, or as a mixer, though I'm leaning more towards this one being an after-dinner sipping liqueur. If you mix this, it'll be hard to not hide the floral notes and you may end up with a more solely acidic or tart flavor add-in to your cocktail.
I'll definitely be making this one again! Going to enjoy finishing off this bottle over the next few months.
If you try this strawberry liqueur recipe, please let me know how it comes out for you!