A couple of weeks ago, I picked a flat of Hood strawberries. Hoods are sweet, delicate, and prone to going bad before you can process them all. So I utilised my usual strategy of drinking through my berry haul.
I’ve made a shrub, a liqueur, and some lacto-fermented pickles (with the white and pale pink berries), and all were good, but the liqueur was something special. I’d added a sprig of tarragon to steep along with the berries and vodka, and that lightly pungent, licorice-adjacent flavour gave the liqueur much-needed dimension. But that wasn’t enough for me, oh no — I had to go and pair it with Campari.
If you’ve ever had a shaken Campari before, you know that a bit of dilution and a lot of agitation can transform something sweet and viscous into an airy, guzzle-able libation. The same is true for Hood strawberry liqueur. Combine them and shake them together, and you get a fruity but complex beverage that’s the perfect end (or beginning) to a summertime supper.
This cocktail — which I have christened “The Campberry Cooler” — technically only requires two ingredients, but you do have to make the strawberry liqueur first. (Do not worry if you can’t find Hoods — just find the sweetest strawberries available in your area.) Make the liqueur as described here, but mash a big sprig of tarragon in with strawberries before pouring the vodka on top. The process takes a couple of days, but it is very worth it. Once your liqueur is infused, filtered, and sweetened, you will need:
- 45 ml Campari
- 45 ml ounces Strawberry Liqueur
Add both liqueurs to a shaker with a big ol’ ice cube and shake as hard as you can for as long as you can. Strain into a coupe glass, or over crushed ice. Serve with a lemon wedge if you need a little hit of acid.