Our perennial strawberry plants are bursting with their first berries of the spring. We’re growing a few different varieties: a standard, large red strawberry, some smaller, red heirloom strawberries, and the precious white alpine strawberry, which is very productive right now. It seems that the strawberry plants themselves have multiplied since last year’s crop, too, with many new plants popping up in never-bef0re-planted spots, thanks to the berries self-seeding when they dropped in the soil.
The little white alpine strawberry is the one most people don’t recognize as something you can eat. But if you’re wise enough to, it will surpass everything you thought you knew about how strawberries taste. Essentially, they’re mind-blowing, with an intensely flavorful flesh that melts in your mouth. They’re sweet and somehow ten times more strawberry-y than a strawberry sundae on top of strawberry shortcake, all drenched in strawberry syrup (and they’re very fragrant, too). But these little berries don’t stay fresh very long, so it takes daily checking to pick the ripe ones, and they pretty much need to be eaten that day.
After the brewers had had their fill of snacking on the ripe strawberries for the day, I grabbed a few last red ones and decided to make a very seasonally-appropriate drink. Sixpoint Harbinger Saison has been on the kegerator for a while, as it has been on draft at bars this spring. But, as a spring seasonal brew, it’s about to be tapped out for the year. I had a lovely wine spritzer at a friend’s party last week, and thought that the mild, crisp and bubbly character of the Harbinger Saison might do well for the same kind of fruity application.
Fresh Strawberry Saison
1-2 large, very ripe, juicy strawberries
1 pint Saison
1 extra strawberry for garnish
Trim the stem from the 1-2 juicy strawberries and drop them in the bottom of a pint glass. Muddle. Add the Saison. Top with the extra strawberry for garnish.