Last of the Summer Wine—Part 1
Strawberry wine! This beautiful beverage could easily be the original May-December relationship. An ancient French liqueur, it has all the zip of a fortified wine and all the color and sweetness of ripe strawberries. Created on a warm day in spring to be sipped around a warm fire at Christmas-tide.
• 2 cups strawberries—hulled and crushed (measure after crushing)
• 2 cups sugar
• 3 cups rosé wine
• 1 cup brandy
• ½ cup high proof, unflavored vodka
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• 1 cinnamon stick, broken
Mix crushed strawberries and sugar—let sit for at least 2 hours at room temperature. Put mixture into large glass containers with screw top. Add all other ingredients. Cover, shake thoroughly, and top with dark cloth—let sit in a dark place for 3 days, shaking frequently. Strain out solids through fine mesh or cheesecloth and discard. Put liquid into large, clean glass jar, cover and let sit for one week, undisturbed. Rack or filter into final clean glass containers, being careful not to disturb bottom sediment.
Cover and age for at least 3 months—better yet, until the snow flies. Decant into dark, corked bottles. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Recipe can be doubled. You’ll need more jars!