In Forager’s Cocktails(Sterling, 2015), Amy Zavatto travels through farmers markets and speakeasies where the latest trends in mixology are coming from foraged and homegrown ingredients. This guide to imbibing will give you tips on how to forage and preserve the freshest berries, herbs, flowers and more.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Forager’s Cocktails.
My friend Shawn Kelley throws just about the best summer parties of anyone I know. Each summer, her narrow Brooklyn backyard fills with the aromas of myriad slow-cooked meats and throngs shoulder to shoulder with friends and colleagues from different parts of the spirits biz — writers, distillers, bartenders, and historians. It makes for a pretty interesting bowl of punch. One year, my friend St. John Frizell, a writer, bartender, and owner of the wonderful Fort Defiance in Red Hook, brought a big jar full of deliciously bright red liquid. What was it? Tequila that had had strawberries soaking in it for a good week in his fridge. It tasted like boozy, berry heaven. I’m a big proponent of avoiding certain things until they’re in season, if only because the flavor is the Technicolor version of the washed-out, insipid cultivated versions. not to mention the indulgence of using fossil fuel to ship things that need not be shipped. But that’s a soapbox for another time — right now, we’re going to talk about wild strawberries. They are smaller than your average, cultivated version, with a white flower and a sweet, concentrated flavor that can’t be beat. Nab ’em before the birds do.
• 1 pint fresh wild strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and cut in half
• 750ml bottle 100% blue agave silver tequila
Wild Strawberry Margaritas
• 2 ounces strawberry tequila
• 1 ounce Cointreau
• 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1 wild strawberry, for garnish
1. Add the strawberries to a large, sealable glass jar.
2. Pour in the tequila, seal, and place in a cool, dark place for at least two days and up to a week.
3. Strain out the strawberries, transfer the liquid to a clean sealed bottle, and keep the tequila indefinitely in the refrigerator.
4. Fill a cocktail shaker half-full with ice cubes, pour in the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice.
5. Shake for 20 to 35 seconds.
6. Slowly strain into an ice-filled ball jar and garnish with a fresh wild strawberry.
TIP: After straining out the strawberries, the color will have leached out of them, and they won’t be as pretty. Don’t toss them, though! Use them along with some fresh ones to make tequila-strawberry ice cream or jam. Yum.
Learn more about foraging and botanical mixology in Into the Wild: Foraging in Urban Landscapes.
Reprinted with permission from Forager’s Cocktails by Amy Zavatto and published by Sterling Publishing, 2015.