Recipe & Photos by Kristy Gardner
I believe in that moment when you stroll into the farmers’ market on a sunny Saturday morning, your heart races, your nostrils flare, that sweet fruity aroma hits your face, and you realize: it’s strawberry season. I can barely contain the happy while I take that first bite of a local, organically grown, in-season berry—when I can’t be held responsible for what happens next. Nor can I be accountable for what occurs when you mix it with booze, beachside. (Not to be consumed illegally, of course, in public, but ideally in a beachfront cabin or campsite with good friends and family.) For what other reason was glassware invented? I’m not usually one for sweet cocktails, but these Mongrelitas are the epitome of fresh, seasonal produce right now. Let your senses guide you—choose berries brilliant red in colour, plump, and that smell like sunshine. See you at Kits Beach!
- 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced, divided
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 lb fresh summer strawberries, tops removed + 1 extra berry per glass
- 1 cup Odd Society Mongrel
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur (Triple Sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier)
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- limes, for serving
- coarse, flaky sea salt
Place half the jalapeños, water, and sugar in a small pot over medium heat. Stir often until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, steep 10 minutes, discard jalapeños, and refrigerate syrup to cool. Pour 1 lb of berries, Mongrel, orange liqueur, lime juice, and 1/3 cup jalapeño syrup into a blender or food processor. Purée on high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Run a lime wedge over the edge of the glasses and dip into the sea salt, giving the glass a quick turn to ensure even coating; gently shake off excess. Fill glasses with ice, top with strawberry mixture, and garnish with a lime wedge, jalapeño slice, and remaining strawberries. Taste the sunshine.
Freelance writer and photographer Kristy Gardner has a penchant for locally grown organic food, seasonal cocktails, carbs, bad 80s films, bourbon, and pigs. Find her at SheEats.ca