A little while ago I decided to take a break from drinking alcohol for health reasons. This is not really as bad as it sounds – I usually have a glass or 2 of wine with dinner that’s all – nothing wildly excessive. Well maybe a bit more at the occasional party – but that’s normal isn’t it?
Anyway in the absence of wine with my evening meal I needed to find an alternative and since I don’t drink sodas and citrus juices are for breakfast it had to be something else.
As I had a punnet of strawberries in the fridge at the time I decided to try making some sort of spritzer. After a number of attempts I am now posting my standard recipe.
I might add that I have also tried this recipe using a number of other fruits with mixed results. Peaches and nectarines work well. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries don’t work well, and I think the plums were a little late in the season and therefore they weren’t as flavoursome as I would have liked. I’ll try them again next summer and let you know.
The resulting drink is refreshingly light with a good fruity aroma and a hint of sparkle and as long as you’re not expecting it to stand up to a glass of good Burgundy you may be well satisfied.
What you need:
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup water
1 punnet strawberries
500 ml sparkling water
How to prepare:
1. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently stirring till the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil briskly for a few minutes to reach a thin syrup consistency.
2. Clean and hull the strawberries (remove the green stems and leaves), slice the large ones in half then add to the hot syrup and cook for a further 2 minutes.
3. When the strawberry syrup has cooled (add some ice cubes to speed up the process if you like), transfer to a suitable jug and blitz the mixture to a smooth-ish liquid
4. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
To serve: fill half a wine or cocktail glass with the strawberry syrup, add a few ice cubes and top up with ice cold sparkling water. Enjoy.