This has been a season filled with highs and lows. I don’t know how to make this easier or soften the blow, so I will just say it as it is. I became pregnant with my first child, and then we lost the baby. I won’t go into more detail than that here for a trigger warning, but I talked about it more in depth in this instagram post if you’re comfortable hearing more about what happened. Needless to say, it’s been really, really hard. When I first made + photographed this recipe, I didn’t know we’d miscarried yet, but thinking back over the past couple months, our little one’s existence lined up with strawberry season, so writing this post and editing these images has been really therapeutic. I feel like it’s a way for me to honor them through making and sharing something beautiful + joyful. They brought so much beauty and joy to our lives during the couple months we had them, so it feels only right to share that through a preservation of a sweet and too-short season with this strawberry liqueur.
The recipe here is as simple as they come, it’s just strawberries, sugar, and vodka. But there are a couple key things to keep in mind to ensure the most flavorful + bright flavors possible. 1) Use strawberries at the heigh of their season, and as local as possible. If you cut the strawberry, it should be red or at least pink inside. If it’s white in the center, it was picked unripe and the strawberry flavor won’t be as strong. If you’re buying strawberries from the store, avoid the ones in the plastic tubs, and opt for the ones in the aqua cardboard-y crates instead. And 2)—only allow the mixture to infuse for 2 days. This ensures you’re preserving the brightest, freshest notes from the strawberries in your strawberry liqueur, and not any notes of decomposition or fermentation. And if you want to make another batch of liqueur while you’re out purchasing vodka and sugar, this is also the season for harvesting green walnuts for nocino, and I have a recipe for that here, as well.
As for me, I’m taking it one day at a time and accepting my emotions as they come. Creating and cooking have been really helpful ways to work through what happened. I was really sick and sensitive to smells during the pregnancy, so I only cooked a handful of times because the scent of it made me feel too nauseous. Getting back to cooking + enjoying a variety of foods again has been a deep source of comfort. It helps to focus on doing things that make me feel good. And I know it’s not the end of the road for us, either. We will keep trying, and I hope with all my might that things will be different the next time around. ♡
- 1 cup of sugar
- 30 ounces ripe strawberries cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 5 cups vodka
- 64-ounce mason jar with lid
- Multiple smaller mason jars for storing the finished liqueur
Add the sugar to the mason jar, then add the strawberries and the vodka. Screw on the lid as tightly as possible and shake to combine and until half the sugar dissolves.
Soak for 48 hours, shaking it again on the second day until all the sugar dissolves. Strain through a mesh colander lined with two layers of cheesecloth placed over a bowl. Discard the strawberries and keep the liqueur. Use a funnel to transfer the liqueur to multiple smaller mason jars and screw on their lids. Store in a cool dark place. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.