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Strawberry Hugo

Strawberry Mint Hugo Cocktail

I took a very early morning train a few weeks ago to Rüdnitz, a small town an hour outside of Berlin, to spend the day working on our CSA farm. The farm belongs to Roberto and Sanna, two amazingly generous people who are dedicating their energy towards creating a sustainable, biodynamic farm that supports a wide network of community members in Berlin.

Unfortunately, I didn’t check the weather report, and chose a very rainy day to visit. We spent the morning hours in the strawberry fields, picking row after row of tiny red juicy strawberries. As the rain came down all around me, I thought about the situation. It was a little cold and I was soaked through, but this was one day in my life, and I was picking the strawberries for myself and the other members of the CSA community. Tasting the juicy strawberries, fresh from the fields, was an incredible experience, and as one of the helpers put it, the strawberries I would receive in the CSA pick-up the next day would be so much sweeter knowing what hard work went into collecting them.

Our friend Charlotte was in town last month from Hamburg, and she asked if we had tried the German summer cocktail Hugo yet. At that point, I hadn’t heard of the drink, but made a point to try one immediately. A combination of sparkling wine, soda water, peppermint, lime, and elderflower syrup,  it’s a refreshingly bright way to enjoy the summer. After the long day at the farm, a nice cool cocktail was definitely in order. For this version, I replaced the elderflower syrup for a quick strawberry one, and added a handful of the fresh mint we’ve been growing on the windowsill. Floral and sweet, it was so nice to sip the fruits of my hard work. This German cocktail is definitely becoming our drink of choice for the summer.

Freshly Picked Strawberries

Strawberry Hugo
Servings: 2 drinks
8-10 very ripe strawberries, tops removed
¼ cup simple syrup 

4 pieces mint, chopped plus additional for garnish
Prosecco or sparkling wine
Sparkling water

Combine strawberries, syrup, and a few pieces of mint in a cocktail shaker and use a masher or fork to throughly mash. Shake vigorously, then strain into two glasses. Fill the glasses three-quarters of the way full with sparkling wine and top off with the sparkling water. Garnish with mint and enjoy!

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