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!
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 Â 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.