Did you know drinking buttermilk is a thing? I wasn’t aware until a few years ago when I took a baking class and remarked to the teacher that buttermilk is pretty amazing in baked goods for something that smells so rancid and he told me that his mother drinks a glass of it warm every afternoon. Like, by choice. I may have said something polite but as I didn’t get the nickname Deb No Poker Face Perelman for nothing, I doubt anyone missed how revolted I actually was. I have little doubt that I acted equally maturely in high school everyday when I friend of mine would get not a normal drink, like ice tea or lemonade with lunch, but strawberry milk. You know, the bright pink stuff that smelled like a melted Jolly Rancher. Why on earth would you drink strawberry milk if you could have chocolate milk? And yet, inevitably, here we are.
It turns out strawberry milk when homemade under the bossy guidance of Gabrielle Hamilton is unbelievably good, like a milkshake but one (if you mom is as awesome as I am, obviously) you can pass off as breakfast. Hamilton’s method has you macerate strawberries in sugar until all of their liquid is drawn out and they’re very syrupy. She insists that you use the best strawberries (i.e. the kind that are in season now) and says “don’t compensate with [rhymes with bitty] berries with more sugar, please.” Then, you take this glassy red bowl that smells like cotton candy, sunshine and joy itself, blend it until smooth, mix it with a combination of milk and buttermilk and let it steep overnight. In the morning, any of that remnant yogurt flavor of buttermilk is gone, leaving you with an ice-cold pitcher of slightly thick, creamy, lightly sweetened deep pink happiness.