Imagine yourself on a gorgeous island, far from your cares. You suddenly have an overwhelming urge for a sweet, strawberry cocktail, thinking that no one will judge you in this carefree Caribbean locale. Then imagine the summer breeze coming to a halt (akin to a record screeching) as the bartender gives you a nasty glare, begrudgingly blending you a beverage full of fruit and palpable ire.
That exact scenario happened to me recently, and it got me thinking: We need to take a stand for the strawberry. No more shall we fear the judgement of salty bartenders or our companions for our love of drinking that sweet, little springtime fruit on a hot day.
So here's a stigma-free strawberry cocktail with complexity, oakiness and a peppery kick. It's a take on a whiskey smash that even your manliest (or judgiest) friends won't be ashamed to drink.
Strawberry Peppercorn Smash
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 5 minutes
2 to 3 strawberries, sliced, plus 1 extra for garnish
3 basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
½ ounce raw simple syrup (1 part raw sugar to 1 part water)
2 ounces bourbon
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
6 to 7 grinds fresh black pepper
In a shaker, muddle the strawberries, basil and simple syrup. Add the bourbon, lemon juice and black pepper. Fill the shaker with ice, then shake and strain the liquid into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish it with a strawberry and some basil leaves and serve.