Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of young kids selling fruit on the sidewalks of Oakland streets. Usually, I’m out for a long stroll with no cash, so I just smile and walk by, but the other day I happened to be driving when I passed a kid who looked about 14 sitting next to boxes and boxes of strawberries. I found a spot to stop the car and bounded up the street. When I asked for some strawberries, he smiled sweetly and asked if I’d like a full flat or half a flat. By that time, I was so excited about the strawberries that I didn’t want to walk away empty-handed, but in our household there are two people, and a 1/2 flat of strawberries is a lot! Anyway, I ended up with 6 pints of strawberries, and needed something to make with them. I first made this recipe about 10 years ago, and it makes a really nice – very sweet – strawberry liqueur.
3 cups sliced strawberries (about 1 lb.)
1 750 ml bottle brandy
1 1/2 cup fine sugar
1/2 cup water
other supplies: 1 very large or 2 large jars, sterilized (I used 2 1-qt. mason jars for the first step)
1. Sterilize jar/jars. To sterilize jars, set jars and lids in a cold oven and turn temperature to 250º. Leave the jars in for about 1/2 hour.
2. Meanwhile, roughly chop strawberries, removing any bruised or damaged fruit.
3. Mix 1/2 cup water with 1 1/2 cup fine sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
4. Put the sliced strawberries in the jar (or jars – I divided the recipe evenly between two jars) and muddle slightly with a spoon. Pour in the sugar water mixture and the brandy and seal the jars. Shake well. Store in a cool dark spot (or the refrigerator) For 3 days, shaking at least once a day.
1. Sterilize sealable jars or bottles.
2. Strain the brandy through a fine seive to remove the large strawberry pieces. Then re-strain using cheesecloth or muslin.
3. Pour into the sterilized containers and seal. Store for 1 month before drinking.
Okay, I admit – I sampled a bit.
Susanna Mendiola14 years ago
I’ve just started to enjoy the delights of brandy (that sounds kinda funny)… thanks for the recipe!
mel14 years ago
Stumbled on this and your lovely blog after coming home from the farmers market w/ a flat of strawberries for jam and freezing and what else? Brandy apparently! Thanks so much for sharing this!
Melanie13 years ago
I've been looking for a strawberry brandy for my wedding cocktail and can't seem to find any local ones. I'm so glad you posted this! Can I screw it up, though? Can something go rotten and cause me to poison my guests? =)
monaluna13 years ago
Hi Melanie – Thanks for your post,and sorry I didn't get back to you sooner! I had that concern, too. You do have to be very careful to sterilize everything, but I'm told that the high sugar content and alcohol should prevent problems. However, I can understand your concern. The recipe I used is a modification of one from “Art of Preserving” by Jan Berry. You may want to check out that one (it's a fabulous book) instead, since I'm sure they've done exhaustive tests before publishing.
Anonymous13 years ago
can you just leave the strawberries whole and take off the green part?
monaluna13 years ago
You probably could just leave them whole, though you might want to crush them a bit to get the most flavor from the berries.
johnny h. humphries9 years ago
I am trying to duplicate DeKuyper Wild strawberry liqueur that has been discontinued in package stores.If you have, then you know the taste I am looking for. Just very sweet strawberries. Your recipe for strawberry brandy sounds like it might work if I can find the right brandy. I would appreciate the name of the brandy you use and its age if possible. Also have you ever used vodka and if so, how that worked for you. I promise if I ever find a recipe that comes close, you will be the first to know. Thanks Johnny H.