It's strawberry season here in New York and we've been popping so many of the plump, red berries into our mouths that we're about to turn plump and red ourselves. It's true that in New York you can get strawberries year round but they are imported, expensive and largely flavorless. We don't bother, so when strawberry season arrives, we're all in.
A few days ago I converted the remnants of a giant Costco flat of strawberries into an amazingly flavorful sauce which I've been enjoying on my fat free Greek yogurt and anything else I can think of. But I did promise you a strawberry cocktail.
There's not a shred of artificial flavor in these drinks and the fresh strawberry flavor comes through loud and clear. If vodka's not your thing, we've also experimented with rum, gin and tequila. You may have to play with the proportions of lime and simple syrup to suit those liquors but the fresh strawberry sauce paired well with all. Cheers!
2 - 2 1/4 oz. Vanilla vodka
2 oz. Strawberry sauce *
1/2 oz. Lime juice
1/2 oz. Simple syrup
4 Large fresh basil leaves
Tear the basil leaves and place them in a cocktail shaker along with the strawberry sauce. Muddle using a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon and then add the rest of the ingredients. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with fresh basil. Note that, if you've never tried the pairing of strawberries and basil, they go beautifully together but you can substitute fresh mint if you prefer.