The process of smoking strawberries for your summer cocktail is very easy. Merely cut your strawberries and place them on your grill to enhance their flavor than process into flavorful drink.

The process of smoking strawberries for your summer cocktail is very easy. Merely cut your strawberries and place them on your grill to enhance their flavor than process into flavorful drink.

If you enjoy fruity drinks or smoothies, then the Smoked Strawberry Aqua Fresca is perfect!  Using seasonal fresh strawberries will bring this to the ultimate flavor height but any store purchased variety will work as well.  This is the perfect cocktail for a summer event or as a non-alcoholic refresher on an exceptionally warm summer day.  Get ready as we tell you how to do the smoking technique then construct this fabulous drink.

Strawberries Love Smoke

Start with strawberries that are at their peak.  Gently wash them and then trim the stem end.  I cut smaller strawberries in half and larger in quarters to ensure the smoke vapor can penetrate easily but you certainly can leave them whole.  In addition to the strawberries – at least one quart to produce enough liquid for a few drinks – you’ll need the following ingredients and materials

Ingredients & Materials:

  • 4 tablespoons sugar – reserve some extra in case you want to make this sweeter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine or coarse sea salt
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Handful of fresh basil or mint
  • Ice cubes
  • Blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mortar & pestle (optional)
  • Sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  • 2 double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious®

 While you are getting the strawberries ready you can have your grill warming up.  Set all burners to medium-low and close the lid.

Gas Grilling With Wood Chunks

Cooking with wood chunks can be done on the LP Gas Grill by using the heat shields or diffusers, whose purpose is to ensure even heat output over the grill grate.  By keeping a medium-low heat on the burner containing 2 wood chunks from SmokinLicious®I’m using 1 ash and 1 cherry – you won’t get the wood erupting in flames but rather a slow combustion that releases plenty of wood-fired flavor.  While the wood heats up, I combine my strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a pinch of sea salt.

Get Ready For Juicy Bubbles

When you smoke strawberries on the grill, all the locked in pectin water will be released by the heat.  That’s why it’s so important that you line your sheet pan with parchment paper so you don’t end up with a hard to clean mess.

After mixing in the vanilla extract, sugar, and salt it’s time to spread the strawberries onto the lined sheet pan and place on the grill.  Once the pan is in place, turn off all the burners except for the one that has the wood chunks on the diffuser. Cooking time will be about 40 minutes with a grill heat of 300°F maintained with the lid closed and 1 burner lit.

Taste Is The Sweet Aroma

Whenever I smoke fresh strawberries, it brings the memory of my Mom making strawberry jam.  As the strawberries react to the smoke vapor, you will see the pectin release and a beautiful, thick glaze will form around them.  This is the stuff that will make an exceptional aqua fresca so be sure you don’t lose any when removing the pan from the heat.  You’ll see the finished strawberries take on a much darker coloring and reduce size slightly from the water loss.  Now get ready for the fun part – getting our drink together.

Strawberry Base

To start our drink creation, you will need a blender and I prefer a mortar and pestle for combining citrus and fresh herbs.  Add the smoked strawberries to the blender and the remaining sugar. You can add the lime juice and fresh basil or mint right to the blender or add to a pestle and combine with the mortar. Once combined, add to the blender. Process the mixture.  Add a few ice cubes and process again until a smooth mixture is revealed.  You may add lime juice, sugar and ice as you see fit at this point – the recommended amounts are merely a guide.

Creating the Ultimate Aqua Fresca

With our strawberry mixture completed, it’s time to combine everything into a refreshing drink or cocktail.  If making a cocktail, select your spirit of choice.  I recommend tequila, vodka, or rum.  Add some ice cubes to a glass.  If making the alcoholic version, add an ounce of alcohol to the glass. Pour in the strawberry mixture and stir.  Add a sprig of basil or mint to the glass and serve.

If you are a frozen drink person, add more ice during the blending stage to thicken this up and make a milkshake like consistency.  This is so refreshing and so fitting for the warmer months.  Enjoy the Smoked Strawberry Aqua Fresca your way as you stay cool this summer season!

Did you love this drink idea?  Let us know by leaving a comment.  Be sure to follow and subscribe to us as we bring you innovative ideas for adding wood-fired flavoring to all types of foods, the SmokinLicious® way!

Looking for more smoked drink ideas?  Then check out this recipe and technique:

The Smoked Pear Bellini Cocktail

Dr Smoke "This summer don't limit your smoking/grilling activities to meat and potatoes, try FRUIT, for a tasty twist."

Dr Smoke- “This summer don’t limit your smoking/grilling activities to meat and potatoes, try FRUIT, for a tasty twist.”

Smoking fruit for cocktails adds a unique taste. Try Kiwi to develop something unique and refreshing for your next outdoor picnic.

Smoking fruit for cocktails adds a unique taste. Try Kiwi to develop something unique and refreshing for your next indoor or outdoor party.

 

SMOKED KIWI CAIPIROSKA

The warmer season means we all look for new cocktails to serve and enjoy during the longer days of sunlight.  For those of you who are a fan of the fruity cocktail, why not take a less traditional approach and bring a new flavor level in.

Kiwifruit Gets A Smoky Start

Caipiroska is a popular drink in South America consisting mostly of vodka, sugar, and lime.  I thought I’d give you a less traditional recipe featuring kiwifruit.  Start the ultimate caipiroska by introducing a depth of flavor by smoking the kiwifruit.  We show you how in our previous posting.  Next, we’ll balance out the bolder smoke with an assortment of sweet and fresh ingredients.  Let’s get the list together.

Gather These Ingredients:

2 cups smoked kiwifruit, peeled and diced

12 mint leaves

2 tablespoons of sugar

3 limes

2 cups high quality vodka

2 cups tonic water, seltzer, or coconut flavored sparkling water

Ice cubes

Mortar and pestle

1 kiwifruit peeled and thinly sliced for garnish

Muddle For Ultimate Aromatics

Taking a teaspoon of sugar, 2 mint leaves, and 1/3 cup diced smoked kiwifruit, I add this to a mortar and pestle.  Next, squeeze in ½ lime juice, then muddle the ingredients together until a chunky mixture is revealed.  This is the part that allows you to experience all the aromatics of the fresh ingredients coming together.  Gives you an idea what your taste buds are in store for!

Time for the Pour

With the key ingredients muddled in harmony, it’s time to bring everything to the glass.  First, I pour my kiwi-mint-lime mixture into a serving glass.  I then add 3-4 ice cubes.  You will most definitely smell the minty fruit combination without picking up the hint of smoke.  That flavor will come when the drink passes over the taste buds.

Vodka Makes It Adult

The final steps to our Smoked Kiwifruit Caipiroska – adding a quality vodka.  This will be equal parts vodka and carbonated water, whether you use straight seltzer, tonic, or even coconut water.  You certainly can experiment with the water you like best.  There are no rules when it comes to cocktails.   I like to give my caipiroska a little stir just to combine things a bit more.

Lay Back and Enjoy

Using simple seasonal ingredients of kiwifruit, previously smoked using SmokinLicious® alder wood and a hand held food smoker, fresh mint, and lime, we’ve given a twist to the traditional caipiroska.  Muddled together for incredible flavors and aromatics, premium vodka and your favorite sparkling water are added.  Finish the beautiful glass off with a sliced kiwifruit and you’re ready for fun entertaining or a kick back afternoon or evening.

Let us know how you liked this recipe by leaving a comment and what you want to see next.  Be sure to follow and subscribe to us as we bring you innovative ideas for adding wood-fired flavoring to all types of foods, the SmokinLicious® way!

You may enjoy other fruit posting like Smoked Pear Salad With Gorgonzola and Smoked Banana Bites

Dr Smoke- "For a refreshing drink this summer season add your own little smokey flavor to the kiwi ingredient to tickle the taste buds of your guests."

Dr Smoke- “For a refreshing drink this summer season add your own little smokey flavor to the kiwi ingredient to tickle the taste buds of your guests.”

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The Yummy Ingredients to Make a Perfect Smoked Pear Bellini

The Yummy Ingredients to Make a Perfect Smoked Pear Bellini

THE SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL

Taking the popular Bellini cocktail featuring Prosecco to a new level, this recipe features smoked pear.  Once you’ve followed our segment on smoking fresh pears, you’ll be ready to try this distinct cocktail.  Be warned, this is not for the light, fruity drinker as this has a strong, smoky undertone giving it more of a savory flavor.

Ingredient List:

Here’s what you will need for Smoked Pear Bellini:

Making Simple Syrup to Sweeten Things Up:

The first step to a balanced Bellini is to make the simple syrup which will provide the sweet flavor to the smoky undertone.  Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar.  I am using organic sugar which will give a yellow-amber hue to the finished syrup.  Be sure to keep stirring the mixture until a low boil occurs.  The sugar will be completely dissolved at that point.  Remove from the heat and pour into a measuring cup for ease in adding to the blender.  The simple syrup must cool complete prior to using in the fruit puree.

Making Smoked Pear Puree

Now it’s time to take the previously smoked pears and begin preparing for the blender.  Although the skin of the pear is high in nutrient value, when smoked with the skin on, the skin can become quite dense.  I will be removing most of the skin for this reason since we want a smooth puree.  Using a paring knife, I remove the skin of each pear half and then cut into small cubes.  I add these cubes to my blender.  Be sure there are no hidden seeds.  You will see the golden hue to the pear meat which resulted from the smoking process. If using a lower power blender, you may need to do this step in two parts to ensure a full puree.

Starting with the blender set to a low setting, begin blending the cut pears, slowing increasing the speed to a medium setting.   Beginning adding the simple syrup in a steady stream until completely combined.  Increase the blender speed to medium-high and blend until the pear puree appears fine and smooth, with no evidence of chunks.

Constructing the Smoked Pear Bellini

I like to pour the pureed pear mixture into a serving pitcher to make it easier to make each drink serving.  Get a bottle of Prosecco that has previously been chilled already.  Add about a 1/3 of a glass of smoke pear puree to each serving glass and top with chilled Prosecco.  Then skewer a sliced smoke pear and rosemary sprig to each glass.  Serve while still chilled.

Saluté

Using seasonal pears, in this case Bosc variety, we bring a smoky version to the standard Bellini featuring Prosecco sparkling wine.  With a simple puree of previously smoked pears, the addition of simple syrup, and a blending of the two with Prosecco, the result is a distinct, savory version of the Pear Bellini cocktail.  Enjoy the Smoked Pear Bellini cocktail and don’t be afraid to add your own special additions like pomegranate, cranberry or even a bit of vodka for those who like a strong fruity cocktail.  Cheers!

Dr Smoke

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