I know it seems like the only spring vegetable I’m excited about is ramps and that’s just not true (it’s kinda true). At the farmer’s market this weekend the ramps were pretty much over (gah, I’m now expecting condolence cards), but the beautiful, bright pink stalks of rhubarb were a fantastic consolation prize.
While we usually go straight for a rhubarb crumble (Matt actually made one and we meant to blog it but ate it too fast), this time I really wanted to go the cocktail route and for that I knew I would need a rhubarb syrup.
This really couldn’t be simpler. All you need is some rhubarb, sugar, water and if you’re feeling fancy, a bit of lemon peel or ginger.
- You could make rhubarb margaritas, mojitos, bellinis, gin fizzes. I’m drunk just thinking about the possibilities. What? It’s spring!
- Have some older, tough rhubarb? This is a great way to use it up.
- Frozen rhubarb would work too.
- To make a Rhubarb-Ginger version (yum), add a couple of of thick slices (about 2 inches long) of ginger and cook it along with the rhubarb.
- Don’t throw out the leftover rhubarb solids! Use them like apple sauce and keep them in your refrigerator for about a week. Great mixed with berries. Serve it with homemade Greek Yogurt because you’re awesome.
- Rhubarb leaves are poisonous so don’t eat them!
- 4 cups chopped rhubarb (about 4-5 medium stems)
- 2 strips lemon zest
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Chop the rhubarb into roughly ½ in pieces and combine the rhubarb, sugar, zest and water in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook very gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft.
- Set a fine-meshed strainer (or a coarse strainer lined with cheesecloth)over a large bowl. Pour the rhubarb through the strainer until most of the liquid is in the bowl. Stir the solids around a little but don’t press down (so the syrup doesn’t get cloudy).
- Carefully pour the syrup into a clean bottle, cover and refrigerate. It should keep for a few weeks.