Happy hour: Rhubarbarita

Does anything shout spring louder than rhubarb?

You know, that perennial vegetable, that we think of as a fruit to use in pies, cakes, jellies and jams? It is such an easy crop to grow. Plop it down in a sunny location and let it do its thing. Like a lot of plants you won’t want to cut it the first year but wait and you’ll reap more benefits for years and years to come. Just don’t eat the leaf, it contains oxalic acid, which can be poisonous. You’d need to eat about eleven pounds of rhubarb leaves at one sitting for a lethal dose, but just to be safe, no leaf nibbling.

We planted a rhubarb plant way back when. Maybe 8 years ago? It produces like crazy. You have to climb through the weeds to get to it, at the time, I thought that was a good thing. It would prevent random walkers from stepping up and helping themselves. Come to find out someone has cut it, besides me. I suspect it is the neighbor lady, who we once mentioned than we have more rhubarb than we can eat, help yourself. Guess those two words gets her out of the whole Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s stuff….

Anyway.

It’s early I just realized. We were expecting more rhubarb because the weather has been so nice, but in reality its way too early to be getting the amount of rhubarb as I was hoping for.

But there was enough to make this. Not much but enough to test out a new recipe.

 

rhubarb simple syrup

That is about 10 precious ounces of Rhubeena. Basically it’s rhubarb seeped simple syrup.

Rhubeena
my version adapted from hungrytigress
who adapted it from the river cottage preserves handbook

1 pound rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar, more or less
jelly bag and strainer, or tight-weaved cheesecloth and strainer

Put chopped rhubarb & a cup of water to a non-reactive pan. Heat on medium, partly covered, and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering until all the rhubarb has softened – about 45 minutes. Don’t let it go dry. Add more water if needed.

While rhubarb is cooking place jelly bag or cheesecloth in a small pan of water and bring to the boil, let boil for 10 minutes to sterilize.

Once sterilized, squeeze excess water from jelly bag, and place on stand over a large bowl. If using cheese cloth place over a strainer propped over a bowl. Pour in the cooked rhubarb and let drip overnight.

The next morning measure the rhubarb liquid. Into a saucepan add the liquid and 1/2 cup of sugar per cup of liquid. Warm the juice & sugar mixture on low heat until the sugar has melted, turn the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil. Boil for one minute.

Pour into a jar, cool and refrigerate.

Now you have to decide what to do with it.

Perhaps you’re feeling to need for a fresh and fruity soda?

Rhubarb Italian Soda

Over a glass of ice, pour 1/4 cup rhubeena and top it off with sparkling water and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a slice of lime. Add more or less syrup depending on the amount of sweetness you prefer. Very refreshing.

Rhubeena italian soda recipe

Not exactly what I had in mind?

Maybe you’d rather concoct one of these veggie laden cocktails instead??

Rhubarb margarita

After a hard day of gardening a Rhubarbarita was calling my name. And I’m not deaf, I heard it loud and clear.

Rhubarbarita

1 shot Rhubeena

1 shot of your favorite Tequila

1 shot of fresh squeezed lime juice

Shake it up, pour it in, top it off with some of the ice and a rhubarb stir stick.

Kick back and relax.

If you got as much done yard work done today, as I did, you deserve one, too!

Cheers!

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