Wednesday, May 19, 2010

in spring a (not so) young woman's fancy turns to...cocktails

the sun came out at long last this afternoon. the garden table beckoned. the birds sang. and after a long day at work, the lure of a relaxing cocktail was irresistible. but i didn't feel like an ordinary glass of my old pal chardonnay, nor was it quite warm enough to break out the rosé. the sun-kissed late spring air whispered of something a bit more exotic, something a bit seasonal, something sweet yet tart. in short, a cocktail worthy of one of the first late spring sunshiney days.


i stared into the refrigerator and caught sight of the bright jar of rhubarb syrup i made last weekend, bright and inviting, flecked with black specks of real vanilla suspended in its sweet, slightly thick pink goodness. we'd start there. there was also the ubiquitous bottle of schweppes indian tonic in the fridge-that's-not-a-smeg (sigh). i turned to the liquor cabinet and spied the bottle of thylandia genever, a danish-made, slightly golden historical (tho' newly produced) gin precursor with a whiff of juniper about it. hmm, it sounded perfect. and it was. i give you the rhubarb gin fizz...

the rhubarb gin fizz
it's pinker than this, i couldn't resist a bit of processing

much closer to the true color
you don't need controversial historical gin relatives to make this, use your favorite gin or even vodka. to make the rhubarb syrup, i cooked down about 30 rhubarb stalks (mine are a bit thin, if yours are thick, use less), very slowly with only a little water. after it was cooked, i put it in a strainer over a bowl and let the gorgeous pink liquid drain through, overnight, actually. i didn't press it a whole lot, as i didn't want any bits or pulp in it. then, the next day, i put the clear tart juice back in a pan with a generous cup of sugar (it was probably 3+ C of liquid) and a whole vanilla bean pod that i sliced in half and slowly brought it to a boil. i put it into a canning jar and sealed it, but it's already half gone, as we've used it to make sodas all weekend. as a soda, we had it mixed with plain water or schweppes lemon or fizzy water - it just depends on what you're in the mood for. but it's pretty heavenly with the genevere. tomorrow, i'll give it a whirl with the real stuff - hendrick's, my best and favorite gin (loved by a small handful of people, all over the world).

to make the cocktail, i poured about 3 shots of the rhubarb syrup into a tall glass, one generous shot of genever and filled it up with tonic. perfectly tart yet a bit sweet and with just the right hint of vanilla.

normally, i post recipes over on domestic sensualists, but this one seemed more like a moment of perfect clarity. i am brewing a rhubarb post for over there, so do check in with us soon. but first, grab yourself a nice springy cocktail.

12 comments:

Magpie said...

Mmm. I do love rhubarb.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

both pretty and refreshing and more fun than a Cosmo! Check out this gin, made in Oregon and in a lovely bottle, too...love liquor bottles!

http://www.rogue.com/spirits/rogue-spruce-gin.php

rxBambi said...

confession wednesday:
:: I don't like gin
:: I have vodka in my martinis altho I know that means it's not really a martini
:: I've never had rhubarb anything
:: I like cosmos
:: I prefer chardonnay...

Trina S. said...

All I could think was DELIshhhhhhhh!
trina
www.mommeville.com

lynette said...

How do you make your rhubarb syrup?

Lynette said...

oh my goodness! thank you. i'm tired and out of it today. sounds so yummy!

NuminosityBeads said...

Now that's just right up my alley. i do love rhubarb and gin both! Sounds so exotic and a good cocktail for a locavor-aholic. Now if I could make some spruce tip flavored vodka or gin to go with rhubarb syrup!
Kim

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm not a drinker that that sounds (and looks) lovely!
Cheers,
jj

Our Little Finch Flock said...

Thanks for the tip. My rhubarb is just sprouting out of the ground up her in AK and I am happy to learn new ways to use it! Cheers to you - it looked like you had a nice evening!

Gwen said...

I'll be over on Friday for one of these, okay?

f8hasit said...

Sounds delightful! I think I'm off to the market for some rhubarb. And then I'll pull out my mothers recipe for rhubarb pie...

Looks like it's going to shape up to be a great weekend!
:-)

Sammi said...

delicious