This strawberry wine makes the best of an abundance of early summer berries. Made in the old European tradition of infusing wine with fruit and herbs before fortifying it with a sweetener, this version strikes your tongue with an intense strawberry flavor before settling with a lovely, sweet finish.
It's a lovely summer fruit recipe that's easy to make and requires no complicated brewing techniques.
What is it?
Strawberry wine is a berry-forward, boozy drink made from strawberries. While modern recipes call for fermenting strawberries with wine yeast as you might do when making wine from grapes; however, in older traditions, it was made by infusing wine with berries and later fortifying the drink with sugar or honey.
This is the old European tradition that brings us May Wine, a drink made by infusing white wine with strawberries and the herb woodruff as well as various summer wines flavored with berries and stone fruit.
What's in it?
Made in the older European tradition of infusing wine with fruit, this recipe calls for fresh berries, hard alcohol such as vodka, white wine, and sugar.
- Strawberries are rich in various nourishing plant compounds that give the berries both their vivid color and bright flavor. When they sit in wine, they release their flavor and their bright color turns the wine a vivid red.
- White wine makes up the bulk of this recipe, and it's best to choose a naturally fermented wine that tastes light and fruit-forward.
- Vodka is a (mostly) flavorless, clear hard alcohol and it fortifies the wine. Some recipes call for brandy in place of vodka.
- Sugar provides a sweetness, making this wine both decadent and dessert-like. Organic white sugar works best in this recipe to keep the strawberry flavor both clean and bright; however, you can also substitute an unrefined cane sugar or honey.
Tips for making infused wines
Making strawberry wine is a super simple process. You start by hulling the berries, and then adding the fruit to a large jar. Next, you'll cover the berries with vodka and
- Use the freshest berries you can find. It's tempting to use strawberries that are at the end of their shelf-life in summer preservation recipes such as this one; however, your wine will only taste as good as the ingredients you add. So, make sure to use fresh, ripe, sweet-tasting fruit.
- Be patient, it takes a week or two for the berries to fully infuse the wine with their flavor and color.
- Use a fine-mesh sieve or a cheesecloth to strain the wine, as it will improve the drink's clarity.
Peach wine is made similarly to strawberry wine, only substituting chopped peeled peaches for the berries.
Swap raspberries or blackberries for the strawberries.
Add fresh herbs or spices to the berries. Vanilla bean is a natural match for strawberries and mint works well, too.
Infused wines last at least 1 year stored at room temperature; however, they're best consumed within about 6 months.
You'll want to bottle the wine and store it in a dark cupboard away from direct light and heat for up to 1 year.
White sugar is the traditional accompaniment to infused wines such as this one; however, you can use an equivalent amount of the sweetener of your choice. You may also omit the sugar entirely if you prefer.
Yes, you can use an equivalent amount of frozen fruit as fresh.