Cocktail Recipes, Travel

Bubbly Girl Drink of the Week: Strawberry Fields at W San Diego

July 10, 2009
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The elegant Strawberry Fields cocktail at the W Hotel San Diego tastes just like wild Italian strawberries. (Photo by Maria Hunt)

The elegant Strawberry Fields cocktail at the W Hotel San Diego tastes just like wild Italian strawberries. (Photo by Maria Hunt)

On my first visit to Venice in northern Italy, I discovered fragolini di bosco,  the tiny, aromatic wild strawberries. They’re also prized in France, where they’re known as  fraises des bois. Adored for their unique perfumed aroma and curious crunchy texture, these berries once grew wild in the woods. Now they’re carefully cultivated by discerning farmers,  including the ones at Chino Farm in Rancho Santa Fe.

This May, hundreds lined up for a taste of Berthillon ice cream in flavors like wild honey, fraise de bois and blackberry. (Photo by Maria Hunt)

This May, hundreds lined up for a taste of Berthillon ice cream in flavors like wild honey, fraise de bois and blackberry. (Photo by Maria Hunt)

Visiting Europe in late spring, I always try to get my wild strawberry fix. I got a taste in Paris when I walked over to the Ile Ste. Louis on an extraordinarily hot day for an an ice cream cone from the famous Berthillon. The passion fruit sorbet was exquisite, but the main event was the soft pink fraise de bois sorbet that had a fragrant almost nutty flavor, and was studded with frozen berries. But since it was an extraordinarily hot day,  the line for ice cream was extraordinarily long, so I didn’t go back again. And then when I got to Puglia in southern Italy, I couldn’t find my little strawberries at all; it was already cherry season.

So I was delighted back here in San Diego to discover the Strawberry Fields cocktail at the W Hotel San Diego downtown. The simple libation stars Fragoli, an imported Italian liqueur made with wild strawberries. It captured their taste perfectly and in fact, has little freeze-dried wild strawberries floating in the bottle.

To make a Strawberry Fields at home, mix 1-1/2 ounces of Fragoli with 4 ounces of  chilled Veuve Clicquot champagne. The sweet, low-alcohol liqueur from Emilia -Romagna would be delicious with the Italian sparkling wine prosecco, or even over berries or ice cream.

Since it’s kind of a boutique item, Fragoli can be hard to find in retail stores. It can, however be ordered from the Toschi company’s Fragoli web site; the best price I found on it was at New York state mail-order liquor stores Mid Valley Wine and Market View Liquor that sell Fragoli for about $24.

Fragoli has been around for a while, but was recently re-introduced with new packaging. (Courtesy photo)

Fragoli has been around for a while, but was recently re-introduced with new packaging. (Courtesy photo)

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  • Reply Bubbly Girl Drink of the Week: La Mattina Appassionata | The Bubbly Girl Blog November 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    […] also makes a unique liqueur called Fragoli. It’s a wild strawberry liqueur that I wrote about here a few months ago after I discovered it at the W San Diego. Fragoli actually contains the little […]

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