Friday, April 6, 2012

Infusions: Strawberry

I've been focusing on the spice and nut side of things, and I thought it would be nice to take a jump over to fruit, just for a change of pace. Strawberry is a classic flavor in all senses, and there are certainly quality strawberry flavored drinks out in the market already. All of that said there are several benefits to making your own. The most significant one is that commercial strawberry infusions tend to be exceptionally sweet because of the American palette. If you infuse your own liqueur you have the leeway to control the sugar content, and to use heirloom strawberries from your local farmer's market which can be much more flavorful, and much more tart.

Ratios: With berries ratios are a little harder to establish because one strawberry might be very small, but be almost entirely flavorful red flesh, while another strawberry might be huge, but most of the mass might be white pith which provides nothing to the flavor. So as a general rule, I start by removing the green top of my freshly rinsed strawberries. Then I fill a jar with them and pack them down lightly, but not enough to bruise the fruit. Then I barely cover the fruit with my alcohol. This insures maximum flavor, and with fruit you can't really over brew the flavor. You can leave strawberries in the liquor almost indefinitely with no adverse effects to the finished product.

Flavor Profile: This infusion tastes like strawberry. Pretty much all of the base flavor is imbued into the alcohol. It is slightly tart, very bright and exceptionally light. It goes very well with fizzy things, and all other fruits. It does not pair well with turbinado syrup, or other sweeteners that have their own distinct taste. I generally pair strawberry with simple white syrup.

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