You might say I have a condiment problem. It might even classify as hoarding.
I tend to buy a jar of this or that, use it once, and then it gets pushed to the back of my fridge, typically never to been seen or heard from again, until I finally do some cleaning and discover it expired two months ago.
But not everything is wasted. Digging into the abyss that is my fridge for some ranch dressing, I found a forgotten gem, and that’s when inspiration struck.
I was introduced to St. Petersburg-based Urban Canning Company at CL’s Veg Out! event in January. After sampling the vendor’s tasty products (there are many), I decided on a jar of strawberry balsamic and cracked pepper jam.
It’s one of those things where you have good intentions when you buy something, but seriously, I never have bread in my house. How can I make toast for the sweet spread? I mean, I did buy bagels once; by the time I used half the jar, though, it was shoved to the back again. But that’s the beauty of jam — it’s still good.
Now, The Urban primarily uses in-season ingredients for its products (which is what food preservation is all about), meaning you might not be able to find this jam right now. If you can’t, that other jar of strawberry jam sitting in your fridge will work for our bourbon smash recipe, as will the puree of a handful of strawberries, a bit of sugar and a couple dashes of balsamic.
Smashes are an easy way to create fresh, original cocktails. I've let The Urban handle the heavy lifting, so I'll just sit here and sip.
Strawberry Balsamic Bourbon Smash
1 tablespoon The Urban Canning Company’s strawberry balsamic and cracked pepper jam (or whatever’s in the fridge)
3 ounces bourbon (I used Bulleit)
2 dashes orange bitters
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients. Shake well until chilled. Fill a rocks glass with ice and pour in cocktail. Garnish with a strawberry.