I have a funny relationship with strawberries! I didn’t used to like them, which was three times more embarrassing than my banana phobia because people are supposed to love strawberries the way they love summer and baby animals. When I was a kid I didn’t really like any fruits or vegetables, so this was pretty on brand and most grownups in my life went with this but strawberries were often treated like an exception. Surely you’d eat a strawberry, they are like candy! Nope, no, they’re slimy and getting the way of the chocolate and vanilla in my Neapolitan ice cream. This came to a head in high school, when during a concert band tour of Germany, I stayed with a host mom who greeted me with a big bowl of strawberries and sugar. She didn’t speak English except for when she left the room and I whispered to my friend that I didn’t like strawberries and she overheard me. You don’t like strawberries?? She asked, poking her head back in. I felt so bad! I pretended like I was kidding and choked some down, discovering that I actually kind of enjoyed them but was not yet ready to admit it.
Eight years later, with grownup tastebuds, I was back in Germany during strawberry season and had an opposite experience, where I braved a downpour in the name of small juicy strawberries from the market that were red all the way through and perfectly sweet. They were marvelous! I still have never had anything else like them. And even though sometime in the course of those eight years I grew to not fear them, I can still probably count the number of other times I’ve deeply connected with a strawberry on one hand: chocolate dipped strawberries on the lawn of Ravinia with Jaclyn and Katie, a shortcake at Blue Hill, and a daiquiri sipped out of a cocoa dusted glass at a speakeasy in Hong Kong.
So maybe it’s that I’m making up for lost time or maybe it’s that I’m in need of vitamin C, but these days I have strawberries of all forms on hand at all times. *Slathers on strawberry scented lip balm*. And right this moment I am craving one of these here strawberries and cream frozen cocktails but it is morning time and don’t tell me that it’s five o’clock somewhere, I am too old for that today.
What makes this a cocktail is Prairie Organic Vodka, which is from Minnesota! I was so excited to find out about them. It’s distilled from organic single vintage yellow corn that is grown on family farms, just a little south of where we live. I’ve always known that corn is super common around here, we have corn farmer friends, but Prairie Organic is the first vodka I’ve tasted made from it. It is so smooth, even a little bit creamy, which is why it goes so well in this cocktail. And I love that its ingredients can be traced back to sustainability conscious Minnesota family farms, just like Eggboy’s!
A great thing about this cocktail is how unfussy it is. I’ve always been extremely impressed with my friends who can welcome me into their house and carry on a conversation as they fiddle with fancy tools, light things on fire, drip precise amounts of bitters into a glass, and spin me a very complicated cocktail. I am not that person yet, maybe one day, but for now I appreciate a simple fun thing that is good by way of great ingredients. A nice glug of cream, strawberries (bonus points if you picked them?!), and a smidgen of cardamom, which will add beautiful dimension. I also like a pistachio rimmed glass for crunch, nuttiness, and color.
Cheers to the weekend, friends!!
Strawberries and Cream Frozen Cocktail with Cardamom and Pistachios
A drizzle of honey
Finely chopped raw or roasted pistachios and freeze dried strawberries, for rim
2 c (280g) frozen strawberries
1/4 c (50g) sugar
1/4 c whole milk
1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c Prairie Organic Vodka
1/2 tsp vanilla
A good pinch of ground cardamom
Dried rose petals, optional
Apply a thin even layer of honey around the rim of two glasses (I find it’s easiest to drizzle it directly on the top outside edge of the glass and then use a small rubber spatula or knife to spread it all around) and then coat it with the pistachios and freeze dried strawberries. Set the glasses aside.
In a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar, milk, cream, vodka, vanilla, and cardamom and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and top with pistachios, dried rose petals (if using), and another tiny pinch of cardamom. Enjoy!