MxMo LXXXIII: Preserves | Strawberry Shot-Cake



This month’s Mixology Monday, hosted by Craig of A World of Drinks, is Preserves.

Even though fresh-everything is the clarion call of cocktail enthusiasts today, back when cocktails were fresh and new, themselves, it wasn’t necessarily feasible to have fresh everything at the tip of your barspoon. Sure, that makes the cake for seasonal cocktails, but let’s face it–we’ve all had a craving for something at the absolute worst time for it, so why would imbibers be any different?

In the spirit of those bygone days, the idea was to use an ingredient that had been preserved by drying, canning, freezing, syrup-ing, candying or any other preservation method you like and make a cocktail with it.

My inspiration actually came from an episode of Extreme Cheapskates that I watched sometime last year (thank you, Netflix, for preserving–hah!–all kinds of weird and wooly goodness for those of us who are otherwise eschewing cable). In one episode, the gentleman being profiled actually had a great idea for using up the dregs of the jelly jar: add oil and vinegar and whatever else you like to the jar, give it a good shake, and suddenly you have a vinaigrette for your salad for pennies of what a fancy bottled version would run you.

Well, if you can do it with salad dressing, why not do it with a cocktail?!

Making King Cakes a few weeks ago used up almost a full jar of Welch’s Natural Strawberry preserves, leaving just the right amount of dregs for a cocktail (I’d estimate, for the sake of repeating the cocktail later, about 2 Tbsp or 1 oz of jam clinging to the sides of the jar). And when life gives you strawberries, you make shortcake!


Strawberry Shot-Cake

2 Tbsp Strawberry Preserves
1 oz Whipped Cream Vodka
1/4 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
2 oz Coconut Milk

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass half-full of ice. Or skip the Boston shaker and add the ingredient to your almost-empty jelly jar along with a couple handfuls of ice. Either way, shake until the last dregs of  jam have released from the sides of the jar and the mixture is a nice pink color. Strain (you may have to get creative depending on the size of the mouth on your jar) into a cocktail glass.

An ounce and a quarter may not seem like a lot of alcohol, but I maintain that it is a well-balanced drink, very smooth, and one you could sip after supper without being hit over the head with a sledgehammer the moment you rise from your seat. If you’re just not convinced it’s enough, though, a barspoon of strawberry vodka floats nicely on the top of this drink.

There are hints of daiquiri here–if you were to blend it instead of shake it I think it would do quite well in that form–and the coconut milk (use the full-fat canned variety, not coconut cream or the diluted coconut milk in the shelf-stable cartons) gives it a hint of a pina colada, as well.


You Spin Me Right, Round & Upside Down


Right Side Up Martini
The same restaurant that served Todd that fabulous Lemon Drop Martini had another item on the menu that I wished I’d ordered instead of the all-alcohol pomegranate martini I nursed for the night. But we didn’t order it, so I have no idea what it tastes like, but it sounded so good I jotted down the description with a plan to try it out back home.

Of course, that was three years ago and I’ve yet to experiment with this cocktail: until now.

First, it had vanilla vodka–something we’d only recently encountered at the time and our favorite form of the otherwise flavorless spirit now. Butterscotch schnapps and pineapple juice rounded out the main ingredients, with a splash of cola to finish it off.

Here’s how we put it together:

The Right Side Up

2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 1/4 oz Vanilla Vodka
1/2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
1/4 oz Cola

Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice and turn it right round like a record, baby. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a bruléed bit of pineapple, if you happen to have one around.

I expected it to be syrupy. It isn’t. In fact, it’s a nice, calm little cocktail–definitely sweet, make no mistake–that’s evenly balanced between the alcohols and the juice. The cola gave me pause, at first, but it gives the drink that caramelized flavor without which it’s namesake dessert wouldn’t be the same.