This small batch Strawberry & Gin Jam recipe with a hint of vanilla is so quick and easy to make and requires no added pectin! The delectable flavour symphony of this unique strawberry jam leaves your taste buds utterly intrigued and begging for more!
I was recently gifted 7 punnets (boxes) of strawberries by my sister so knew that I had to make jam as we were never going to eat that many.
After 3 trials, I was finally happy with the recipe having reduced the sugar and upped the amount of gin.
Even if you don’t like gin (like me) I guarantee that if you like strawberry jam then you’re going to love my Strawberry & Gin Jam. The gin takes the strawberry flavour to a fresh, magical dimension along with the vanilla extract.
When my husband tried it, he was so intrigued by the flavour he immediately wanted more, it’s that good!
Benefits of making Homemade Strawberry & Gin Jam
- Perfect way to preserve a harvest of strawberries.
- It’s far better than any shop bought jam.
- Making your own jam is so rewarding and you can add your own unique twist to it.
- You can impress friends and family with this exquisite jam.
- Making your own jam is more environmentally friendly as you can use homegrown/locally grown fruit and there’s less waste as you can re-use jars and lids.
- It’s cheaper to make your own artisan jam than buying from a farm shop etc.
- Homemade jam makes the most thoughtful gift.
How to make Strawberry & Gin Jam
- Strawberries: you want them just ripe, sweet and fragrant. Straight from the garden or farm shop is ideal. If your strawberries aren’t good enough to eat then they’re not good enough for making jam.
- Gin: the type of gin you use will influence the flavour profile of the jam so use a quality one you like or let your nose guide you. I used Star of Bombay which worked beautifully.
- Lemon Juice: aids the gel formation as strawberries are low in pectin so need a helping hand.
- Vanilla Bean Extract: use a good quality one, vanilla essence won’t be nearly as good.
- Granulated Sugar: no need for expensive jam sugar with added pectin and personally I don’t like the stiffer consistency of jam it makes.
- Unsalted Butter: this is optional and only needed if you find skimming the scum away is not enough to eradicate it.
Preparing & Cooking Strawberry & Gin Jam
Be sure to rinse and dry the strawberries before hulling to avoid them absorbing excess water.
- Add strawberries to a preserving pan and very lightly crush with a potato masher to release juices (leaving a ¼ whole if small).
- Pour in sugar, gin, vanilla extract and lemon juice.
- Place pan over a low heat to slowly dissolve the sugar (do not simmer or bubble or jam will be crystalised). Stir with a wooden spoon until no crunching sugar sounds can be heard.
- Once sugar has dissolved turn up the heat and bring to a full rolling boil at which point you time for 6 – 7 minutes or until a temperature of 105C is reached on a digital thermometer. The jam should drip slowly off a wooden spoon and last drip should just hang there.
- Test for set on a chilled saucer by spooning on a little jam and place in fridge for 30 seconds. Push your finger through the jam which should form a gentle crinkle or wave and feel tacky. You don’t want a hard crinkle or your jam will be like glue.
- If jam hasn’t reached setting point, then boil for another 30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat until ready.
- Move surface scum to one side and skim away with a large metal spoon.
- Stir to remove residual scum and if that isn’t enough stir in a knob of unsalted butter which should break the surface tension of the tiny bubbles (optional).
- Pot up into hot jars using a ladle and jam funnel (if you have one) and twist on lids immediately.
- Try replacing the gin with another spirit eg white rum and use lime juice for a mojito vibe!
- Instead of vanilla bean extract you could use the seeds from a vanilla bean pod.
- Replace half the strawberries with chopped rhubarb or peaches etc for a flavour twist.
Scum in Strawberry Jam
I’m not going to lie, but I found all 3 developmental batches of this Strawberry and Gin Jam particularly troublesome for scum. Sometimes I make strawberry jam and I don’t get any scum or just a minimal amount.
For this Strawberry & Gin Jam recipe however, there was a heap of scum and the butter didn’t eradicate the remaining scum fully as you’ll see.
I thought long and hard as to why this was.
As scum is basically tiny air bubbles, the only thing I could put it down to was the large size of all the strawberries. Larger strawberries must mean larger air pockets in the strawberries.
They were reduced in the local supermarket so perhaps age is a factor too?
Keep Strawberry & Gin Jam in a cool, dark, dry place (I keep mine in a cupboard in my garage).
Once opened, store jam in the fridge where it will last for many months provided you always use a clean teaspoon or knife to serve.
How long with Strawberry & Gin Jam keep?
All jams are at their best for the first 12 months and particularly red jams which tend to fade with age. However. the jam will be safe to eat for many years if stored correctly.
Serving Suggestions and Creative Uses
Strawberry and Gin Jam is perfect for:
- Spreading onto your favourite baked goods eg sourdough bread, croissants, crumpets, Scotch Pancakes etc.
- A cream tea with scones or Fat Rascals and clotted cream.
- Filling a cake like a Victoria Sandwich.
- Using in puddings like Roly Poly or Jam Sponge Pudding.
- Adding to cookies.
- Shaking into a strawberry jam cocktail.
More Strawberry Jam Recipes
- Quick One Punnet Strawberry Jam (1st prize winning)
- Strawberry & Rhubarb Jam
- Strawberry & Peach Jam
- Strawberry & Elderflower Jam
- Strawberry Raspberry & Redcurrant Jam
- and you may like to try my Rhubarb & Gin Jam which is fab too!
I’m sure you’ll love my unique Strawberry & Gin Jam and can’t recommend it highly enough!
Do leave a comment and rating below when you’ve made this recipe as I love getting your feedback! You can also share your pictures by tagging @FabFood4All over on Instagram.
Pin this small batch strawberry jam for later:
Strawberry & Gin Jam
- Digital scales
- Electric Kettle
- Preserving pan (or similar large pan)
- potato masher
- Measuring spoons
- Large wooden spoon
- Large metal spoon
- Digital thermometer
- jam funnel
- 450 grams strawberries rinsed, dried and hulled
- 325 grams granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons gin premium quality, like Star of Bombay
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
- Before you start sterilise 2 x 200 ml jars (see notes) and place 2 saucers in the freezer.
- Place strawberries in preserving pan (or similar) and lightly crush with a potato masher (you want texture to your jam) leaving about a quarter whole if small (mine were big so I gently crushed all of them).
- Then add the 325 grams sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 4 tablespoons gin and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract.
- Place the pan on a gentle heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves and no crunching sounds can be heard. Do not simmer or boil at this stage or your jam will be crunchy.
- Once sugar has dissolved turn the heat up and bring to a rolling boil. At this point you stir continuously and time for 6 – 7 minutes or until the temperature reaches 105C on a digital thermometer and then remove the jam from the heat. A slow and then hanging drip from a wooden spoon is a good indicator of being ready. Mine took 6 minutes 45 seconds.
- Next, test for set by spooning a blob of jam onto a chilled saucer. Place in fridge for 30 seconds and then push a finger through it. If it gives a gentle crinkle/wave and is tacky then the jam is ready. You don’t want firm crinkles, it’s better to under boil than over boil as you can always re-boil unset jam.
- If jam hasn’t reached setting point. boil for another 30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat the process/test until ready.
- Push any scum to the side of the pan, skim with a large metal spoon and discard. (Don’t skim as you boil as that’s wasteful).
- If this doesn’t do an adequate job then you can stir in a knob of unsalted butter to disperse any remaining air bubbles. (They are unsightly but won’t affect the quality of your jam).
- Pot up into 2 x 200 ml hot jars with a ladle and jam funnel and place lids on immediately.
- Allow jam to cool before serving.
- Store in a cool, dark, dry place and refrigerate once open. (See post for further storage and keeping tips).