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it’s strawberry season! make strawberry brandy.

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.

strawberry brandy
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)

Step 1:
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.

Step 2:
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.

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