This is great French liqueur recipe for using up summer fruits – especially when you have a glut. Use predominantly strawberries to get a really summery taste. It’s lovely when you put a little in with some sparkling wine or champagne too and if you bottle it up and wrap the bottles they make great and much appreciated presents.
3 cups/450g fresh strawberries plus blackberries, red currants or other summer fruits
1 ½ cups/300g sugar
2 cups/500ml vodka
1 cup/250 ml water
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1. Wash and stem the berries and then put them in a bowl with the sugar, crush them up a little and leave for an hour.
2. In a large bowl place the vodka, water, lemon juice and the zest and then add the crushed berries and sugar mix. Always use a glass or plastic bowl rather than metal to make sure there’s no staining.
3. Leave the mix in the bowl for at least a month in a cool dark place and stir twice a day but you can leave it for a bit longer, the strong alcohol content preserves the fruit perfectly.
4. Strain the liquid into sterilised bottles – make sure it’s clear (use a fine sieve or cheesecloth if necessary). Tighten the lid and leave for a couple of weeks to settle and then enjoy it! It stores for quite a while but well done if you manage to keep the bottle for a while because the lovely fruity taste is always very popular.
You can use the left over fruit in trifles or serve with a scoop of ice cream – delicious.