This past summer while in Greece, I had the pleasure of passing through Athens on a couple of occasions. Athens got hit hard during the economic crisis but it was nice to see that people are in better spirits and some life is returning to the center of the city.
I love Athens’ nightlife, it’s always good to reconnect with my Athenian friends, who always give me a myriad of dining suggestions. Athens is also a place to make new friends and one evening I remembered to accept an open invite to visit Papadakis restaurant in Kolonaki.
This restaurant is owned and operated by Argiro Barbarigou (and her husband), who is now simply referred to as “Argiro” in most Greek homes. She’s published many cookbooks, has appeared on TV as hostess of several cooking shows and she’s even become a formidable ambassador of Greek cuisine with her visits to various events in the United States.
Meanwhile, back in Athens, I met some friends at Papadakis, met Argiro and immediately hugged and kissed this dynamo who’s always on the move, ensuring dinner guests are well taken care of.
I had some appetizers and drinks there but the reason for this post is to share Argiro’s recipe for strawberry liqueur – something we served after finishing our noshing. This liqueur came ice cold, a stack of shot glasses and without any shame, our party of four polished off the bottle of strawberry goodness.
Argiro’s original recipe calls for brandy but she also likes to use vodka and I’m sure tsipouro (or grappa) would work well too! There are some decent strawberries (from California) at the markets, grab yourself a few pints and make this liqueur. You’ll love it!
Argiro’s Strawberry Liqueur
(makes 1 large bottle of liqueur)
500 gr. (2 cups) of ripe strawberries
250 gr. (1 cup) granulated sugar
2-3 strips of lemon peel
500 gr. (2 cups) vodka or Tsipouro (without anise) or grappa
- Rinse your strawberries, remove the stems and cut in half. Place in a large container with the sugar and lemon peel and stir to incorporate.
- Use a potato masher to soften the strawberries for 2-3 minutes then add the vodka and stir. Cover and place in your fridge for 3 days.
- Each day, stir the mixture for a minute and return to fridge. On the third day, place a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth and strain the liqueur from the pulp. Pour the liqueur through a funnel into a bottle and place in the fridge for future use.
- Serve chilled after dinner as a digestif.
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