This Strawberry Black Pepper Vodka Smash is fruity and a bit spicy, but in an understated way, and served in small measure, like a classic smash should be.
The basic elements of a smash include a spirit base (vodka, in this case), ice, mint or other herb (in this case, black pepper), sugar, and the ever-present seasonal fruit (strawberry). We also add just a splash of club soda to give it a slight effervescence that really brightens it up.
The flavor is built up in this cocktail by soaking the strawberries and black pepper kernels in the vodka.
You don’t have to do it long, just 30 minutes to an hour. If you have longer, it will benefit from up to 4 hours. After that, the strawberries lose their color and the flavor has been transferred.
When you’re ready to drink it, fill your glass with ice. One large piece of ice is preferred. Strain the cocktail through a fine mesh sieve. Top with a garnish of strawberry and a grind of black pepper, if you want.
What I love about this cocktail is its simplicity. The flavors of the strawberry and black pepper really permeate the vodka and leave it fruity, but in a smooth and subtle way.
You can make this cocktail as sweet as you like by adding more sugar, though I don’t think it needs more than the called for agave syrup. Any sweeter might overpower the subtlety of the flavors.
If you have strawberries left over, here’s another variation to try: Strawberry Mint Bourbon Smash
Other Cocktails to Try
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Infusing vodka with strawberries and black peppers incorporates the flavors into the vodka.
- 4 oz vodka
- 8 strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 tsp crushed black peppercorns
- Splash of soda water
- Extra strawberries and peppercorns for garnish
In a small container, add the vodka, sliced strawberries and crushed peppercorns. Cover and allow to infuse for about an hour.
Fill a low-ball glass with ice (or use one large chunk of ice). Strain the vodka over the ice into the glass. Top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with extra strawberry slices and peppercorns.
Discard the solids from the infusion, after straining out the liquid.
You can drink the strawberry vodka straight, without the addition of the soda water, if preferred.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g