The Washington Post

Smoked Strawberry Aperitif

Smoked Strawberry Aperitif 4.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Spirits May 20, 2022

Here’s a light, summery sip to make when you’ve got the grill going. Grilling brings out the flavor and sweetness of the strawberries and the balsamic. White vermouth is a sweeter, herbal variation of the fortified wine; we used Martini & Rossi Bianco. You’ll need wooden skewers for the strawberries.

Active time: 10 mins; Total time: 1 hour 20 mins


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Tested size: 4 servings

  • 8 ripe strawberries
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Crushed ice and ice cubes
  • 12 ounces white vermouth
  • 8 ounces tonic water


About 1 hour ahead of grilling, set the wooden skewers in water to soak. At the same time, wash the strawberries. Slice off the crowns and refrigerate them for use when serving. Set the berries in a bowl, then top them with balsamic vinegar and stir to coat. Marinate for 1 hour.

Skewer the berries and set the skewers toward the edges, or cooler part, of the grill. Grill until softened but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the skewers to a platter and let cool, about 5 minutes.

For each drink, fill a highball glass with the crushed ice and set aside. Add 2 grilled strawberries and 3 ounces of white vermouth to a cocktail shaker, and vigorously muddle the berries in the wine. Add ice cubes to the shaker, shake hard to combine, and double-strain into the glass. Top with the tonic water, stir gently and garnish with a strawberry crown.

Recipe Source

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (1 drink): 133

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 15mg 1%

Total Carbohydrates: 13g 4%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 12g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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