I love sparkling wine no matter its region: from California, Prosecco from Italy, Champagne from France, or Cava from Spain. I do not discriminate when it comes to bubbles. Champagne makes for an instant party in your mouth. And I like parties.
Lucky for me, there is a pint of strawberries in the fridge. Since there are two incredibly sluggish people (and a not-so-miniature dachshund) on the patio, I think this calls for champagne cocktails. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
Two pints of strawberries for $3. You can’t pass that up. Even if you don’t think you’ll use both pints, you still buy them. You’re actually saving money, right? Strawberries don’t exactly have staying power. It seems that as soon as you walk out of the grocery store, they’re already starting to turn.
I suppose it is an obvious goal, but my latest ambition is to use everything in the fridge. I cringe at the thought of how much food I’ve thrown away in the past. So now, instead of going to the store and buying whatever I feel like having that night, I’m making a point of using what we have. It makes me invent new uses for ingredients. This recipe is a good way to use up those strawberries that have seen better days. (But at the end of the day, if you just end up eating the strawberries while drinking plain old champagne, more power to you. You still used the strawberries.)
Strawberry-Amaretto Champagne Cocktails
Hull a pint of strawberries and cut them in half. Throw them in a blender with some sugar (superfine is better but not necessary) and blend away until the strawberries are completely pureed. Now you have a choice here: if you like purees with seeds, you’re done. If you don’t like how strawberry seeds get stuck in your teeth and remain there until you finally give up and go brush and floss, then push the puree through a sieve…that’s what I did. It will take a few minutes of pushing as the seeds will clog things up. Keep mashing it around with the back of a spoon and soon you’ll have a (mostly) seedless strawberry puree.
The secret ingredient here: Amaretto. Mix a few tablespoons (to taste) into the puree for a little hint of almond. The strawberries will thank you.
Now comes the tricky part. For some reason, fruit purees excite champagne as much as champagne excites me: to the point of over-bubbling. I tried puree first, then champagne. I tried champagne first, then puree. Either way, the champagne bubbles over like crazy. So, as much as you want to drink this, you have to be patient. Put a couple spoonfuls of puree in each glass and top with champagne. The bubbles will eventually subside (or you can be impatient like me and scoop them out with a spoon). Top with more champagne until the glass is full.
You will need to do a little mixing to get the puree incorporated into the wine…just be gentle. Bubbles are the main attraction.
Garnish, if you want, and you’re ready to party. Or, as we did, sit on the patio and do nothing.