As a New England resident, I almost start mourning the local strawberry season the minute it begins. The berries are so good, and the season is so brief. I freeze them for the rest of the year, but it’s just not the same.
Last year, we made ice cream. I think we still have a scoop or two left from that same batch. (Ice cream isn’t a binge food in our house, go figure.) This year, my strawberry preservation project is 21+.
In May, I purchased a massive 1.5 liter bottle of Onyx Moonshine, since we were going through the locally-made spirit at a fierce clip. That meant I had enough product for experiments with infusions. A small batch of pineapple-infused moonshine turned out beautifully, working particularly well with fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime and Angostura bitters.
Next up, strawberries.
The berries soaked up the booze for seven full days. I tested the batch a few times in between, but waited for it to absorb more flavor and pass its vague cough-syrup stage.
And one week later, I uncorked the bottle (the fruit nearly drained of color at this point, Bunnicula-style) and used the few shots’ worth of vermilion liquor in an easy strawberry martini recipe: mixed with fresh lime juice and just a little agave nectar for balance and sweetness.
Oh, sweet Jesus, was this good. Unsatisfied with just a small taste, I put more infusion bottles to work: