Macerated Strawberries

Macerated Strawberries

Technically speaking, strawberries are members of the rose family and somehow, “strawberry” has become a flavor without a fruit. We enjoy strawberry-flavored gum and ice cream and all manner of processed goods, but when it comes to actual strawberries, we’d just as soon buy imported berries in October because they look pretty. This recipe is about bringing it back the fruit.

Macerated Strawberries

  • 1 pint medium strawberries (rinsed, hulled and sliced)
  • 1/2 bottle (325ml red wine, Pinot Noir or Merlot will do nicely)
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large airtight container and stir gently. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. To freeze, simply assemble the ingredients in heavy-duty zip-top bags and freeze for up to 1 year.



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  1. 1

    Chocolate balsamic vinegar and honey with the sugar is amazing so far and these berries aren’t even ready yet. I just checked mine.

  2. 3

    Regarding the red vermouth and Marsala: those are both wines, so not a valid substitute for the wine already in the recipe. I have read that TripleSec makes a good alternative to wine.

    • 5

      Pretty much the same way that you would frozen ones. The texture changes, they’re softer. So piling them high in a graham cracker crust and topping with whipped cream for a fresh strawberry pie will not work. I also would not do the English strawberries and cream – too much liquid, too much acid. I prefer them to be very firm if used in a salad, but that is just a personal thing – they’d be tasty with spinach, red onion, and bacon. I don’t know if a gelatin salad would set.

      But any breakfast item where you’d use frozen / thawed – pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, smoothies, and so on.
      Majority of dessert items will also work – ice cream topping, shortcake filling , pound cake topping, angel food cake topping, banana split ingredient, parfaits, pudding stir-in, etc. A trifle would have to be adjusted for the extra liquid, but could work. Try one summer pudding to see if you like it before making a batch.

      And of course there is nothing wrong with just a straight up spoon.

  3. 6
    Karen c.

    Does this bring out the flavor in out of season store-bought strawberries or should I save it for next spring. I live in southeast NC where there are so many good places to buy them when they’re in season. I admit to being a total strawberry snob and rarely buy the out of season because I always end up disappointed.

  4. 11

    In place of wine you can use martini Rossi (red vermouth) or Marsala. That’s how nonna would make it. But will definitely give this a try!!

  5. 13

    Love “rinsing” my strawberries in Chardonnay and then macerating them with sugar and lemon juice. So delicious! My mother learned this from our Italian neighbors in Naples.

    • 15

      I’ve used balsamic vinegar before. Wonderful flavor when paired with strawberries. Just a tablespoon or two (depending on how strong you want that balsamic flavor to come through) of the good stuff. The older, the better.

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