A small, personal tidbit about me is that - around what now feels like a lifetime ago - I used to be a bartender. After graduating from New York University, I worked slinging drinks over a span of seven years in New York, Florence, Italy and Center City, Philadelphia before finally, and fortuitously, landing my last bar gig in Manayunk. So armed with my new Psychology degree I counseled drunk people at the bar instead of following my original plan to go to law school (sorry, mom!), and surprisingly found it to be one of the most rewarding life experiences I could have ever gotten. I traveled, met amazing and inspiring people from all over the world, had to learn how to be resourceful with finding jobs and making money and most importantly, I had a blast living a life of leisure for most of my 20’s.
One of the other great benefits of this unique life experience is that I now can make a mean cocktail! Having gathered different techniques and recipes from all over, I love creating craft cocktails for events we have at the store as well as when I entertain family and friends in our home. This summer however, with social distancing in place, it’s been all about the party of one! My husband doesn’t drink, and my kiddos prefer milk, so I can only serve myself which is great because I can make all the stuff that I love and I don’t have to share!
But…I do want to share with you! So here is one of my favorite cocktail recipes of all time. I discovered the “Caipiroska alla Fragola” (Strawberry Caipiroska) while living in Italy! It is a derivation of the Brazilian “Caipirinha” but made with vodka instead of with cachaça. It tastes like summer in a glass and is made with fresh strawberries and limes. Oh, and vodka. Which is worth mentioning twice!
So I urge you to experiment in making this refreshing and delicious beverage, sit outside, and soak in the last few weeks of what probably will come-to-be-known as the weirdest summer ever. And as they toast to good health in Florence, “Cin-Cin!’
Ingredients to make 1 yummy cocktail
- 4.6 ounces (130 grams) strawberry
- 1/2 lime cut into quarters
- 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) vodka
- 1 tablespoon sugar
A handful of crushed ice and 1 giant ice sphere (optional).
*We used this Extra Large Sphere ice cube tray and the shape was perfect!
2. Remove the stem from the strawberries, wash them thoroughly, and set them aside.
3. Optional (but mandatory for style points): Put one strawberry aside to decorate your cocktail glass. If you are using big strawberries, cut them in half to make the muddling easier.
4. Wash the lime and cut it into quarters. Remove the pith from the middle.
5. Add the lime and sugar to a cocktail shaker and muddle.
6. Now, add the strawberries, one by one, and muddle again until it has a pulpy texture.
7. Add the ice and vodka to the cocktail shaker.
8. Put the lid on the shaker and make sure it’s properly closed (obvious but critical!). Now shake for a few seconds.
9. Pour the drink into a glass. Add ice or your large ice sphere to make it extra cool and refreshing. Decorate the glass with the remaining strawberry.
10. Enjoy! You deserve this!