Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Strawberry Season Special - Cheers Strawberries Cocktail

Who can resist to the redness and sweetness of a ripe strawberry? My family and I can't.

Last weekend we were in the windy fields of one organic farm close to Santa Cruz, California, buying some of the Chandler variety of organic strawberries. The music playing in my mind was "Strawberry Fields Forever." All of a sudden I traveled back in time: I had learned, with a bit of disappointment, that the Beatles' song was not really a psychedelic inspiration on a strawberry field—but was mentioning a children's home close to Lennon's place. That revelation happened while I was working with my friend, photographer Tina, on a feature for a magazine in Liverpool in the mid-'90s.

When I realized that our weekend program, to pick organic strawberries, was not really possible, I also got disappointed. On top of that, my camera had just run out of batteries! The strawberries were not ready yet—as many were still in the need of more sun to mature, and spring had unusual cold weather, compromising some of the crop. The boys were able to understand that the plants needed more time, and off we went to buy strawberries already picked from other fields of the farm—delicious ones—and a jar of their extraordinary jam.

This short series of strawberry based recipes is going to be online from today to Sunday. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Cheers!

Kids are always asking me to have some more exciting drinks, once they set up their own paperboard clubhouse in the backyard!
One of the good reasons to love it, it's because you can use those not-so-fresh strawberries that were left behind. This is a reinterpretation of a recipe created two years ago for Mother's Day.

Strawberry Cocktail

With some not-so-fresh strawberries, I prepared a syrup-like compote, simmering the fruits with orange juice. I used the mix as a base for the cocktail. 

2 tablespoons strawberry compote (recipe below)
1/2 cup sparkling mineral water with lime
1/4 cup apple juice (optional)
4 leaves fresh mint, chopped
Ice (optional)

Combine all ingredients, stir slowly, and add fresh chopped mint on the top.

Strawberry Compote

2  cups whole strawberries
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
5 or 6 juniper berries, dried

Simmer all for about 30 minutes or until the fruits are smooth. Remove juniper berries. Refrigerate and reserve for the drink.

1 comment:

Myrna said...

Strawberry fields will be imprinted in your boys memory as one of the nice experiences you enabled them to have, namely that in nature everything has its time to mature. Forever and ever.
Concerning the recipies, I am going to try this drink right now!
And thanks for the photos, really inspiring.


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