At this time of year I start to pop stuff up onto my pantry shelf for use throughout the year but primarily for Christmas. The easier and simpler the better and sometimes those unusual preserves or drinks end up being used in a myriad of different ways ie in home made sweets or bottled up into little bottles to give as a small present come Christmas.
I love mixed soft fruit at any time but a little nip of a nice drink - something different during the winter months really lifts the spirits. Take Sloe Gin for example on a cold winters day really does give you a lovely rich flavour and warms you up. The instructions state to drink in small shot glasses or for an unusual touch add Champagne to some of the vodka to create a kir. Now that really would be nice on Christmas morning.
This one I think will be nice and light a touch of summer coming into the winter months.
350 Strawberries hulled and quartered
Pared zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, halved
1 x 70cl bottle of good quality vodka
Place the fruits into a bowl or straight into a large preserving jar with the lemon zest and sugar and crush together with the back of a spoon/fork or with the end of a rounded rolling pin using it like a pestle. Add the vanilla pod and leave for a couple of hours to macerate until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit starts to become really juicy.
If you have used a bowl transfer the contents to a large sterilised preserving jar and pour in the vodka . Mix well and chill for a week or until needed up until about a month. Strain through a fine sieve or muslin and decant into pretty sterilised bottles. The recipe says to store in the fridge but I have in the past made similar style drinks and they have kept well on a cool pantry shelf for several months.
Now this I think will make a lovely addition to my Pantry shelf but I think I shall double up and make two batches. Something else to add to the shopping list.
Catch you later.