erdbeerbowle - german strawberry punch

i was cooking for friends at the weekend. my friend sandra has german heritage and we wanted to make some sort of cocktail so it was very timely that hugh fernley-whittingstall’s weekend column in the guardian featured erdbeerbowle – a summery strawberry punch with germanic roots.

it’s a great choice if you want to make a jug of something pretty and delicious. just don’t try and eat the strawberries – they give up all their sweetness and berry flavours to the drink.

hugh’s erdbeerbowle (serves about 16 – for 1 glass each)

1kg strawberries, hulled and halved

80g caster sugar

1 lemon, unwaxed if possible

1 bottle crisp white wine, chilled

1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled (i used prosecco)

lemon balm or lemon verbena, to garnish (i didn't use this)

put the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle on the sugar. if you don't have an unwaxed lemon, wash the lemon well in warm water. peel off thin strips of the zest with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. finely chop one peeled lemon zest strip and add the lemon juice and chopped zest to the strawberry bowl. refrigerate for a couple of hours.

pour off the strawberry juice into a bowl and put to one side. tip the strawberries into a large jug, pour over enough of the wine to cover and refrigerate again for another two hours.

shortly before serving, add the strawberry juice, the remaining wine and the sparkling wine. serve either in a punch bowl decorated with the remaining strips of lemon, or pour into glasses and serve with lemon zest strips and sprigs of lemon balm or verbena.