If you want to flashback to the summer of ’89, head to Belcampo Meat Co. in Santa Monica for a craft cocktail version of Boone’s Farm’s strawberry wine. Barman Josh Goldman has resurrected that candied classic with his own Strawberry Hill cocktail. Unlike the Boone’s, this Strawberry Hill has a balanced sweetness and is actually made with real strawberries and good booze. The beautiful, easy-drinking cocktail is borderline jammy. Upon first sip, you expect that familiar syrupy sweetness to take over, but it’s held in check by the dryness of the wine.
The house-made strawberry cordial uses Campo de Encanto Moscatel pisco as its backbone. To further balance the sweetness and the wine’s natural acidity, Goldman added citric and malic acid to rose water. This essentially does the same job as citrus juice without changing the flavor or muddying it up. Naturally he needed a wine to stand up to all the flavors of the strawberry cordial, rhubarb bitters, and rose water. So Goldman went with a bigger style of rosé from Tavel.
The real “wow” factor, however, is the “disco strawberry” garnish (never mind that it looks like something found in a glitter-bombed litter box). They’re really delicious Fragola Fabbri strawberries — candied strawberries packed in syrup and imported from Italy. The barman rolls the berries in “luster dust” (an edible glitter) and malic acid for a sweet tart flavor.