New Years Local Food Cheers: Ring in 2009 with a Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

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My roots and love for Wisconsin run deep, ever since we traded the Chicago urban corporate scene for organic farming and sustainable living on our rural acreage a dozen years ago. And at heart, I’m a four-season loving gal. But man, that fourth season of winter can run a bit long here – especially this year with record snowfall and low temperatures this past month.

So you have to develop a sense of humor as a Midwestern farmer to ride out the winter each year, latching on to whatever gets you through the bleak season. Cocktails, anyone? There’s something about frozen, fruity blender drinks – sipped slowly around the glow of the fiery woodstove – that for a brief, granted illusionary moment, transport us farming cheeseheads to another warmer place and time.

If you’re looking for something special to sip on tonight – a drink that reminds you of warm summer breezes and local June flavors gone by – look to your freezer for stockpiled strawberries and whip out the blender for Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris.

June of 2008 gifted our farm with a bumper crop of strawberries. So much so that we eventually maxed out on eating fresh and started freezing those little red gems. We “tray freeze” the berries – lining up clean, hulled berries on a flat cookie sheet, placing the tray in our chest freezer and packing them in freezer bags once hardened. While some strawberries eventually made their way into sauces and jams, the bulk of these frozen babies end up in cocktail glasses this time of year, as the snow piles and wind blows outside.

Here’s our house recipe – but feel free to adapt with ingredients you have around. Think about using some local spirits, when possible.

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
Makes two cocktails (triple for a pitcher)

8 whole frozen strawberries
¼ c. rum
½ c. Triple Sec **
1 T. lemon or lime juice
¼ c. powdered sugar (or to your sweetness taste)
Fruit-flavored sparkling water (or any juice or water in a pinch)

Place strawberries, run, triple sec, lemon juice and powdered sugar in a blender. Pour in sparkling water until strawberries float (about ½ c.). Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

** = Triple Sec is a clear, orange flavor liqueur. You can use more run with a dash of orange juice if you don’t have Triple Sec around.

Photo Credit: John Ivanko

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