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Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of young kids selling fruit on the sidewalks of Oakland streets. Usually, I’m out for a long stroll with no cash, so I just smile and walk by, but the other day I happened to be driving when I passed a kid who looked about 14 sitting next to boxes and boxes of strawberries. I found a spot to stop the car and bounded up the street. When I asked for some strawberries, he smiled sweetly and asked if I’d like a full flat or half a flat. By that time, I was so excited about the strawberries that I didn’t want to walk away empty-handed, but in our household there are two people, and a 1/2 flat of strawberries is a lot! Anyway, I ended up with 6 pints of strawberries, and needed something to make with them. I first made this recipe about 10 years ago, and it makes a really nice – very sweet – strawberry liqueur.

strawberry brandy
3 cups sliced strawberries (about 1 lb.)
1 750 ml bottle brandy
1 1/2 cup fine sugar
1/2 cup water
other supplies: 1 very large or 2 large jars, sterilized (I used 2 1-qt. mason jars for the first step)

Step 1:
1. Sterilize jar/jars. To sterilize jars, set jars and lids in a cold oven and turn temperature to 250. Leave the jars in for about 1/2 hour.

2. Meanwhile, roughly chop strawberries, removing any bruised or damaged fruit.

3. Mix 1/2 cup water with 1 1/2 cup fine sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.

4. Put the sliced strawberries in the jar (or jars – I divided the recipe evenly between two jars) and muddle slightly with a spoon. Pour in the sugar water mixture and the brandy and seal the jars. Shake well. Store in a cool dark spot (or the refrigerator) For 3 days, shaking at least once a day.


Step 2:
1. Sterilize sealable jars or bottles.

2. Strain the brandy through a fine seive to remove the large strawberry pieces. Then re-strain using cheesecloth or muslin.

3. Pour into the sterilized containers and seal. Store for 1 month before drinking.


Okay, I admit – I sampled a bit.

7 Responses to “it’s strawberry season! make strawberry brandy.”

  1. I’ve just started to enjoy the delights of brandy (that sounds kinda funny)… thanks for the recipe!

  2. mel says:

    Stumbled on this and your lovely blog after coming home from the farmers market w/ a flat of strawberries for jam and freezing and what else? Brandy apparently! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  3. Melanie says:

    I've been looking for a strawberry brandy for my wedding cocktail and can't seem to find any local ones. I'm so glad you posted this! Can I screw it up, though? Can something go rotten and cause me to poison my guests? =)

  4. monaluna says:

    Hi Melanie – Thanks for your post,and sorry I didn't get back to you sooner! I had that concern, too. You do have to be very careful to sterilize everything, but I'm told that the high sugar content and alcohol should prevent problems. However, I can understand your concern. The recipe I used is a modification of one from “Art of Preserving” by Jan Berry. You may want to check out that one (it's a fabulous book) instead, since I'm sure they've done exhaustive tests before publishing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    can you just leave the strawberries whole and take off the green part?

  6. monaluna says:

    You probably could just leave them whole, though you might want to crush them a bit to get the most flavor from the berries.

  7. johnny h. humphries says:

    I am trying to duplicate DeKuyper Wild strawberry liqueur that has been discontinued in package stores.If you have, then you know the taste I am looking for. Just very sweet strawberries. Your recipe for strawberry brandy sounds like it might work if I can find the right brandy. I would appreciate the name of the brandy you use and its age if possible. Also have you ever used vodka and if so, how that worked for you. I promise if I ever find a recipe that comes close, you will be the first to know. Thanks Johnny H.

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