Monday Night Martha: Strawberry Basil Martinis

Not long ago, we had some scrumptious strawberry basil martinis at Caffe Boa in Tempe. That got us thinking that it would be pretty easy to make the classy cocktails at home. Strawberries must be in season somewhere because 99 cent palettes can be found at every grocery store.

This recipe is easy, but it takes some time.

1 bottle of vodka

1 lb. strawberries (give or take)

You should be able to let it set out on a counter top at room temperature, but if you prefer, you can also put it in the fridge. Do be sure to save the original vodka bottle as you'll want to put the strawberry vodka infusion back into this bottle later.

The strawberries will slowly turn pale pink as the essence is infused into the vodka. After about two weeks (at least two weeks depending on how strong you want the vodka to be), drain the strawberries from the vodka infusion.

Throw away the pink strawberry mush. Pass the vodka mixture through a sieve or a wire strainer. Actually do this at least twice to get any floaters out of the liquid.

Mix the strawberry vodka infusion to taste with the simple syrup. Be careful to add the syrup slowly and taste it as you go along. You don't want the vodka to turn into cough syrup. Return the strawberry vodka to the bottle. You can keep this in your liquor cabinet for use whenever.

When you want to make the strawberry basil martinis, mix the strawberry vodka to taste with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice and some muddled strawberries. Shake with ice and strain into your oh-so-sophisticated martini glass. Garnish with basil leaves.

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