Strawberries Marinated in Port



My Healthy Valentine

I didn’t think I’d love this recipe, since I rarely sugar strawberries, and I rarely drink port. I’ve marinated strawberries in Cointreau, Amaretto, Limoncello, and rum in the past. All were met with the complaint that the fruit essence and sometimes the alcohol content were overpowering. This recipe surprised me with it’s harmonious melding of flavours. The port drew out the strawberry aroma without drawing attention to itself.


There is just a little port used in this. The taste is mostly the strawberry juice, and even using the full amount of sugar, the strawberries were not too sweet. You might try less or more, according to your taste. And the flavour of the port was nicer than any other liquor I’ve tried.


I didn’t reduce it, but instead poured it onto vanilla ice-cream for the kids, and sponge cake for the adults. Okay, fine. Sponge cake AND ice-cream.


If you select a nice port, you can keep it a few weeks rather than needing to drink it right away.

Strawberries Marinated in Port

Excerpt from Pimentos and Piri Piri by Carla Azevedo (Whitecap Books).


  • 5 cups (1.25 L) hulled and thickly sliced strawberries
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) port and additional port for serving
  • 6 fresh mint leaves

It is well worth waiting the required 24 hours for the strawberries in this dessert to take on the delicate, not-too-sweet finish of the port marinade. Served over ice cream or with sweetened whipped cream or mascarpone, they are fit for any special occasion.


In a large decorative serving bowl, place about 1½ cups (375 mL) of the strawberries in an even layer. (NOTE: I just covered the bottom of the bowl until there were no gaps – Mama T) Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of sugar. Repeat the layers until all of the strawberries have been used up.  Pour the ¼ cup (60mL) port over the strawberries (the port will not cover the strawberries; the strawberries will extract during the marinating). Cover and set aside for 24 hours. Do not disturb the layered strawberry dish.


To serve, spoon the fruit into dessert cups and drizzle with some of the sauce. Garnish each serving with a mint leaf.


To make a thicker port sauce, strain the strawberries and port and set the strawberries aside. Place the marinating liquids in a small saucepan over medium heat and boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until reduced by about one-third or it reaches the desired consistency. Set aside to cool. Pour the sauce over the strawberries and serve immediately.