Strawberry Vodka

What other fruit do you bottle? Exchange recipe ideas here (No sloes or damsons here please)

Moderators: SloeHoHo, Blackthorn

Post Reply
penguinbrau
Posts: 32
Joined: 27 Sep 2008, 14:13
Location: Coventry

Strawberry Vodka

Post by penguinbrau » 07 Jun 2010, 16:51

I have some alpine strawberries in my garden and I picked some this morning and they seem tasty and ripe. I was going to try a strawberry vodka but I've seen a variety of recipes which call for different amounts of sugar, from none up to 1/3 of a jar!
Since strawberries are quite sweet (unlike sloes) I would have thought sugar wasn't necessary so I'm going to try without to start with.

My question is:
would it make any difference if the sugar was added at the end or at the beginning, along with the fruit? I don't know whether sugar has any effect on extracting flavour.

I've got a 2 litre jug which I am going to pour a bottle of vodka in, and I'll keep picking the strawberries until the jar is full. I guess leave for a few months, then strain into bottles.

Kay Dekker
Posts: 34
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 15:53
Location: Coventry, England
Contact:

Re: Strawberry Vodka

Post by Kay Dekker » 04 Jul 2010, 15:01

There are at least two potential differences.

1) Efficiency. The higher the osmotic pressure (in lay terms, the concentration of sugar in the liquid) the more rapidly the juices will be drawn out from the fruit. But in the case of very soft fruits such as strawberries, I doubt it would be a significant difference; certainly not if you leave the fruit to infuse for at least a couple of months.

2) Preservation. Strawberries are a lot juicier than sloes, so without sugar you might end up diluting the alcohol to the point where it would no longer prevent spoilage organisms such as bacteria and moulds from growing in the liquid. Adding sugar would help to minimise that risk by raising the osmotic pressure, which also inhibits spoilage organism growth.

I stress, these are theoretical risks. I haven't observed them in practice. I'm simply putting on my scientist hat and drawing on my microbiology background, and we tended not to try to grow our bugs in vodka :D

There's also some possibility that the chemistry (and thus the taste) might end up being somewhat different. The fruit acids and alcohol may react to some extent with the sugar, possibly. But I don't have a mass spectrometer handy to check that kind of thing, and I don't know of any relevant published material. This is a purely conjectural point.

If you do try it without sugar, I'd recommend testing the alcohol content with a hydrometer (a wine shop or even a large Boots chemist should stock one) periodically to check that it's not getting too dilute. Most moulds are inhibited by a 5% ethanol content; I'd double that to set a fair safety margin. If it gets too weak, that is the point at which adding sugar will help.

My optimal strategy would be to run two parallel batches, one with and one without sugar, and see how they turn out. Experiment trumps theory!

penguinbrau
Posts: 32
Joined: 27 Sep 2008, 14:13
Location: Coventry

Re: Strawberry Vodka

Post by penguinbrau » 15 Aug 2010, 22:50

The strawberries have been sitting in the vodka for several months now and the vodka has turned a nice red colour. The alcohol strength is probably somewhere around 30% assuming around half of the juice has been extracted from the fruit. It tastes quite bitter so it will need a bit of sweetening before I bottle it. I'll report back after I've sweetened and bottled it :)

katebak
Posts: 22
Joined: 25 Dec 2007, 22:18

Re: Strawberry Vodka

Post by katebak » 02 Sep 2010, 22:41

penguinbrau wrote:The strawberries have been sitting in the vodka for several months now and the vodka has turned a nice red colour. The alcohol strength is probably somewhere around 30% assuming around half of the juice has been extracted from the fruit. It tastes quite bitter so it will need a bit of sweetening before I bottle it. I'll report back after I've sweetened and bottled it :)

sounds delicious..... I'dd be interested to know what you thought of it!!

penguinbrau
Posts: 32
Joined: 27 Sep 2008, 14:13
Location: Coventry

Re: Strawberry Vodka

Post by penguinbrau » 25 Sep 2010, 22:11

I sweetened it a few weeks ago and the bottle has been sitting in the kitchen since then. I had a small glass of it tonight and the flavour is quite light with a pleasant mixture of sweetness and bitterness.

lisa110rry
Posts: 3
Joined: 04 Aug 2012, 14:07

Re: Strawberry Vodka

Post by lisa110rry » 28 Oct 2012, 16:44

I'm resurrecting this very old thread because today I bottled my strawberry vodka. I tasted a little and must say it's not a patch on sloe gin, but hey ho.

What I'm wondering is whether I could do anything with the vodka soaked, pale pink strawberries? Anyone tried making jam with it? Any comments, tips or caveats? Will all the pectin have been washed in to the vodka?

Regards,

Lisa

Post Reply