Saturday, February 11, 2012

Booze of the Week: Strawberry Kiwi Liqueur

Booze may not be the answer, but it helps you to forget the question. – Henry Mon

Deep pink with a hint of green. Just what you would expect!
Here’s another one folks. This time I’ve combined two of my favourite flavours, plump ripe strawberries and delicious kiwis. Right now I have four additional liqueurs on the go so look for some interesting posts over the next few weeks. This one was ready first.

Nicely ripened kiwi. Photo: rofi, Flickr ccl
Years ago there used to be a frozen yogurt shop on Spring Garden Road here in Halifax. It was a walk-up take out where they blended together your chosen flavours on the spot – right in front of you. Boy, it was tasty!

My favourite was, you guessed it, strawberry kiwi. There’s something about the lusciousness of strawberries and the tar/melon overtones of kiwi fruit that just belong together…

When purchasing your fruit keep one important fact in mind: make sure they're at their peak. You need well developed flavours. That means pick strawberries at full ripeness. 

For the kiwis, choose the softer ones. Hard kiwis are not completely ripe and won’t have nearly as much flavour. Most kiwis that are sold are slightly underripe. It helps with shelf life.

The colour and flavour transfers from the fruit to the vodka.
Slightly soft kiwis will be a messy to deal with but are essential. Removing the fuzzy peel from a soft fruit can be a “juicy” exercise but you need the fully developed taste to infuse good flavour in your liqueur.

Of course I would suggest fresh Nova Scotia strawberries at their peak, but we are in the dead of winter. I used flash frozen berries for this, but will be making it again during U-pick season. Even frozen berries made an excellent liqueur.

One thing I have learned over my year of making liqueurs is they definitely improve with some ageing. Of course, they are more than adequate as soon as finished, but will develop more subtlety after a month or two. Some of my earlier liqueurs had changed substantially by Christmastime – all in a very good way.

Try this one. It’s great just in a glass with ice, and will add a real kick to any springtime backyard party drinks you’re dreaming up during the cold winter months.

Strawberry Kiwi Liqueur
Time: 4 weeks  |  Yield: 2 x 375 ml plus 1 small glass
3-4 ripe kiwis, depending on the size
1 lb strawberries
2 cups vodka, potato preferred
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Wash the strawberries, slice and place in a clean Mason jar. 

Peel the kiwis over a bowl to collect any juices that may exude when you remove the fuzzy brown skin. Slice and add to the jar. 

Pour the vodka over the top, seal and shake well. Let sit for 4 weeks. Shake periodically. Over the month the colour will leech out of the fruit and look disgusting. That's what you want.

After the infusion time, strain the vodka/berry mixture until as clear as you can get it – 2 or 3 times.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. let boil for 5 minutes and then let cool slightly.

Mix the syrup with the vodka, bottle and enjoy!


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