Its strawberry season in many regions and sometimes we pick more than we know what to do with. And we’re not the only ones. On a couple blogs and pages I follow there is always a question posted as to what to do with all these strawberries! The usual answers are posted; make jam, jelly, flash freeze for desserts, and use in smoothies. I added why not make Schnapps? I got many replies asking me to please post the recipe, so here it is.
This schnapps has a delicate, aromatic taste and a beautiful red color.For the best results and flavor, use fresh fully ripe strawberries. You can use store purchased strawberries, but farm fresh have a richer sweeter flavor and aroma and just produced a better end product.
Strawberries contain water that will dilute the alcohol content - and high alcohol content is necessary to extract the full taste and flavors from berries. Use vodka or spirits with an alcohol content of 100% to 150% proof. The water from the berries will lower the proof, but it's still very potent, so be careful. The smoothness will sneak up on you.
Many recipes have you add the strawberries with the alcohol in the very first step. I found when making Cherry Brandy, that the flavor is enhanced and improved if the fruit is allowed to ferment in sugar first before adding the vodka.
I use 80 or 100 proof Smirnoff vodka, but any good vodka will work. You can also use Everclear, just isn't my favorite.
|Fresh picked from the farm|
You will need:
About 4 lbs of strawberries
5 cups of sugar
1 large glass jar with lid
2 - 750 ml bottles of 80 to 100 proof vodka (or Everclear)
Storage bottles or jars with corks or tight fitting lids
|I love strawberries|
- Rinse the strawberries carefully. Remove caps and quarter or chop.
- Drain off any excess water.
|Wash strawberries and remove cap|
- Use a large clean sterilized glass jar with a lid.
- Fill approximately 1/2 of the jar with strawberries and sugar, rotating the layers. Place the lid loosely back on the jar. Do not tighten.
|Cut strawberries into pieces|
- Allow to ferment in a warm spot for up to 2 weeks or until any bubbling has stopped. I have mine setting in my bay window. I would also advise placing a towel under the jar. Wipe outside of jar occasionally if needed.
- At least once a day if possible, gently stir the strawberries and sugar.
|Alternate layers of berries and sugar|
- After approximately 2 weeks, add 2 -750 ml bottles of good quality, clear, unflavored 80 to 100 proof vodka or use Everclear, (or enough to fill the jar the rest of the way). Screw the lid on tight.
- Steep for 2-3 months in a cool dark place, (64-68°F).
- Shake or stir lightly from time to time to release flavors.
- Strain or filter your Strawberry Schnapps into clean glass bottles or jars with tight-fitting lids. Your schnapps is now ready to drink or give as gifts.
|Bottled and ready for sipping or gift giving|
But who has time for that, ha-ha.
Keep your schnapps bottle tightly closed and in a cool dark place before and between servings. In case you did not know, alcohol does not spoil.
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What ways are you using strawberries besides the ones mentioned. Do you have an old family recipe for using up the left over strawberries?