We’ve just come back from a perfect week in Sardinia. Neither of us had been there before and we didn’t really have any particular expectations. What we wanted was a week of lazy sunshine; a chance to get a bit of space from the frantic everyday of our lives.

We got that and far, far more. We ate well (a little too well at times) and spent hour after hour talking or reading or, my favourite, just watching the sea and the sky. It was a week lived in technicolour, from the startling orange of my nightly aperol spritz to the multitude of blues and greens that formed the backdrop to our week.

Strawberry Margaritas 2

Now that we’re back in London, everything seems rather grey and flat. I look a the pictures I took for the blog before we went away and they all seem so dull, so lacking in the life and vitality that I’ve got used to. I remember feeling like this when we got back from our extended trip to California a couple of years ago – it takes a while to re-adjust to the more muted tones of London.

June seems to have crept up on me this year – the last few months have been a heady blur of travel and late nights and jumping from project to project. I feel like I blinked and, all of a sudden, it’s summer. The weekend before we went on holiday, we bought our first strawberries of the year. Some we ate as is, grabbing a couple every time we wandered into the kitchen. The rest, I roasted with a touch of honey and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar until they were sticky puddles of juice and then pureed in my food processor. I’d planned to drizzle this over ice cream but  in a moment of reckless and long weekend induced abandon, I decided to make margaritas instead.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who gets home from work and nonchalantly pours themselves a cocktail of an evening. In truth, we generally just have water at home and our drinks cabinet is labouring under the weight of strange liqueurs that we once bought for a party and haven’t touched since.

Like many people who think they don’t like tequila, my memories of it – cheap shots, preceded by a lick of salt and followed by a wedge of lime to take away as much of the taste as possible – are firmly rooted in my formative years and it has taken a good few years for me to move on. Now, I am quite partial to a margarita or two (but have, through experience, learnt that two is my limit). Although I don’t often make cocktails at home, one of the great advantages is being able to tweak the ingredients and quantities to suit your tastes. Whilst I generally tend to make pretty strong drinks (as a number of my friends can attest to…), these margaritas are a touch more mellow. Heavy on the fruit, with a burst of acidity from the lime juice and the underlying bitterness of the tequila and served over lots and lots of ice, they are slightly more fitting for a Sunday afternoon.

Strawberry Margaritas 4

Have some strawberries but don’t want to get mildly tipsy on a Sunday afternoon?  Here are some other strawberry recipes that have caught my eye recently:

roasted strawberry-miso ice cream // strawberry-oat cacao muffins // strawberry crumble with oats, hazelnut and elderflower // strawberry vanilla bean buttermilk cake // strawberry cream roll // strawberry maple cornbread cake // triple berry salad

balsamic-roasted strawberry margaritas

Yield: 2 - 3 glasses

Last year, I fell in love with starwberries, gently roasted in the oven with a touch of balsamic vinegar. My obsession shows no sign of abating this year. Whilst you could make a fresh strawberry puree here, I really like the depth of flavour and sweetness that you get from roasting them first. I also find that it makes the finished drink plenty sweet enough so you don't need any agave/honey/sugar syrup. Contrary to my reputation for making the strongest cocktails known to man, these are actually pretty fruit heavy but my measurements are just a guide really. I always think you should add a little and then just keep playing.


    For the strawberry puree:
  • 400g (about 3 - 4 cups) strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • For the cocktail:
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) tequila
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) lime juice
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) cointreau


  1. To make the strawberry puree, preheat the oven to 170C/325F and place the strawberries in a baking dish with the honey and vinegar. Roast for about 35 minutes until squishy. Allow to cool before transferring to a blender or food processor to whizz until smooth. If you are so inclined, you can then sieve the puree so it's smooth but I didn't bother.
  2. To make the margaritas, put about 2/3 of the strawberry puree in a jug or large cocktail shaker, add the other ingredients, along with lots of ice, and shake well to combine. Have a taste to see if you need more strawberries (or, indeed, more tequila/any of the other ingredients). I ended up using pretty much all the strawberry puree to make some relatively weak margaritas, suitable for sipping on a Sunday afternoon.
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35 Responses to "balsamic-roasted strawberry margaritas"
  1. I love strawberries and these sound so refreshing and delicious!!

  2. These look beautiful. We are currently bathed in sunshine up north so these look like the perfect post-work tipple :)

  3. Amy says:

    I think I might only drink these from now on (you know, if it was socially acceptable to drink margaritas at work…)

  4. Erin says:

    Gosh I really wish I was allowed to have a cocktail right now! This looks so refreshing and summery.

  5. alexandra says:

    We are so very much the same. We love the idea of our bar cabinet, stocked with unique as well as standard cocktail fare expectations. But we rarely – if ever – pour ourselves a drink unless we have guests over! I’m more likey to just drink water while the husband grabs a beer for himself. But this? This little combination of the roasted strawberries + tequila sounds easy enough and more than delicious enough to coax me out of my lazy, plain habits. What a lovely recipe!

  6. Oh man! What I wouldn’t give for a Margarita right now. I shall have to bookmark this little beauty for a post-baby treat!

  7. Just when I’ve decided I need to dry out for a bit you come along with this! Yummmmm! Paul and I were actually considering a few days in Sardinia for a quick get away in July. But we only have a few days (our summer is being dictated by weddings) and aren’t sure it would be worth the expense for such a short trip. What do you think, doable? Or crazy?

    • kathryn says:

      I would have thought it would be pretty doable – it shouldn’t be that long a flight I wouldn’t have thought. It’s only 2 hours, or just under, from London so it’s not much further than Italy/France for us and we do that for a weekend quite often. There were plenty of French and German couples at our hotel who were just there for a few days or a long weekend. I imagine it will be pretty hot there in July though there will be a breeze coming off the sea and it’s the kind of place where you can be as active as you like (or don’t like!). We’d definitely consider going there for a couple of days in future although are slightly hampered by a lack of flights to the nearest airport to where we stayed.

  8. Your week in Sardinia seemed so dreamy! I know just what you mean about returning to regular life after a stellar trip. Oh, boo… at least there are bright, vibrant drinks like this one to think about in returning! : )

  9. Erika says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed your vacation.. you’re instagram feed was beautiful and gave me extreme wanderlust. Love the idea of roasted balsamic strawberries in margaritas… Definitely on my list to try..

  10. Wow, wow, WOW! I love everything about this post — it made me both look up flights to Sardinia and grab a handful of strawberries from the pint sitting in my kitchen. And that drink… what a stunner!

  11. Zainab says:

    If only it was legal to drink at work…love this!! The roasted strawberries :)

  12. Alex says:

    I don’t know… I think these make a better real-life re-entry than corn cake :)

  13. OH, how I wish I had one of these right now. Love, love, love the flavor combo! :)

  14. The photos from your trip looked amazing, I’m glad you had such a good time. Coming back to real life is always a tough adjustment. I’m looking forward to the day I can have one of these to finish the day!

  15. Your week in Sardinia sounds wonderful! I love relaxing weeks like that where you can just sit and watch the world go by, and I find being by the sea especially, so relaxing. And the addition of one of these margaritas while I did that would be utterly wonderful.

  16. Eva says:

    These margaritas strawberry looks delicious! J’adore!

  17. susanne says:

    Oh I know exactly what you wrote about beeing in a city after one week in Sardegna?last week I made also balsamic roasted strawberries ;) they where so good! For Margheritas I have to wait untill next summer – because of beeing mummy.

  18. Hannah Jade says:

    I keep coming back to this recipe several times a day so figured I should pop my head around the corner – Kathryn, this sounds amazing. All of my favourite things in one glass, might even have to break my “buy no more booze” plan.

  19. Oh, this looks so divine – what a fantastic combination of flavors! I don’t drink much alcohol these days unless we’re out at a restaurant/bar, but this is one I’d love to try making at home!

  20. This sounds so good!! I love strawberries with balsamic vinegar, I have to try your cocktail soon!

  21. Amanda Paa says:

    totally straying from my normal glass of wine to make one of these. and sardinia sounds magical. it’s a tragedy that i have not been overseas yet :( have a great rest of the week!

  22. I’ve seen so many delicious roasted strawberry recipes around the internet this week and this is no exception! So jealous of your holiday, it looked epic :-)

  23. Joanne says:

    I definitely have mixed feelings about tequila on it’s own after having one too many nights that ended in one too many rounds of shots, but I do love it in margaritas. Roasted strawberry sounds like the perfect way to add rich fruity flavor to it!

    Thanks so much for linking to my cake!

  24. I swooned every time you shared of picture of your trip on instagram. Everything looks so bright and happy. I am glad you got to relax in such a beautiful setting. I adore margaritas, perhaps a bit too much?? I have to make these soon, and I will be sure to cheers to you, your trip, and to this amazing recipe!

  25. cynthia says:

    Oh so in love with this post, Kathryn! Your description of your vacation — endless chats, good food, lazy sunshine — makes it sound so dreamy and rejuvenating in the best way. I’m so glad that you two were able to get away last week and hit “pause” on a summer that seems to just be accelerating nonstop. And this margarita is absolute PERFECTION. Balsamic-roasted strawberries might be one of my favorite things on this earth and to put it in a drink sounds just heavenly. Genius. Thanks so much for sharing, Kathryn! (And now I’m off to lose myself in your Sardinia pictures!!)

  26. This looks amazing!!

  27. wow what an interesting recipe, love the flavour combination of strawberries and balsamic and it’s made even better with tequila! love it. thanks for the inspiration.

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