{recipe} Strawberry Popper Cocktail

I am kind of on a cocktail kick these days. Fresh off the success of my Dolores Park-inspired drink, I decided to take another stab at creating a sweet, spicy, tart cocktail. A sweltering spring day called for an ice-cold concoction with muddled strawberries, fresh lemon juice, vanilla paste, and a jalapeño slice. A healthy pour of vodka and some agave to sweeten it, and another great cocktail was born.

If you’re wondering about the vanilla paste – it’s a great thing to have around for both baking and drinks. It has the seeds from the vanilla beans, and a richer, headier aroma that’s very well-suited to cocktails. I buy mine from Vanilla Saffron Imports in San Francisco, which I’ve recommended previously as an inexpensive and high-quality source for vanilla beans. I highly recommend trying some! In a pinch, you can substitute vanilla extract or try a few dashes of bitters instead.

I poured this drink over ice into small mason jars and garnished with a thin slice of jalapeño and a fresh strawberry. Serve it with a salty, non-spicy snack – the spice from the drink gives enough heat all around. I served it with these roasted sesame edamame pods and it was a perfect combination.

RECIPE: Strawberry Popper Cocktail
makes two – recipe can easily be doubled


  • 3 fresh ripe strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla paste (can substitute vanilla extract or a few splashes of bitters)
  • 1 Tblsp lemon juice
  • 1 slice jalapeño
  • about 1 tsp agave syrup (more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • jalapeño slices and strawberries for garnish (optional)


  • Muddle everything except vodka in a cocktail shaker very well. Add vodka and a lot of ice and shake well to chill. Strain over ice and garnish with jalapeño and strawberry, if desired.

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3 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    You are killing me with these amazing cocktail recipes! I’m only pregnant for 3 more months….

  2. Jarome says:

    Perfect for throwing a house party! 🙂

  1. May 8, 2013

    […] Off the Meat Hook whipped up an intriguing cocktail—Strawberry Popper. […]