Wednesday, June 22, 2011

fun with rhubarb

as a wedding present, Cass' firm purchased us gift certificates for a dinner at The Herbfarm. Cass let me pick the meal, and I selected the spring forager dinner earlier this year. It blew our minds. Or at least, mine. To kick off, we were served a warm rhubarb and douglas fir punch, which was incredible - I definitely needed to be able to drink it as often as the craving hit! What's a girl to do?

Well, I found this recipe on Not Without Salt for rhubarb tea, and made a few changes. The pot above is filled with 8 stalks of rhubarb cut into 1/2" to 1" pieces, 8 cups of water (1 cup of water per stalk), lemon zest, and fresh rosemary sprigs (for an extra piney boost). You bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cover (so as not to boil off the liquid!) for 30-60 minutes, or until the rhubarb has literally become a mush.

Strain out the solids, add honey to your taste and drink - voila! Beautiful, warm rhubarb tea:

While we were sick, we would sometimes drink a whole pan of this together in an evening. It was delicious and so comforting.

But the other day, we weren't sick, had some rhubarb that had gone a bit limp, and needed to use it up. I made the tea, but we didn't polish it all off in a night. What to do with the leftovers?

Rhubarb cocktails! I can't be terribly precise here, but these drinks consist of about 2 parts rhubarb tea, 1 part St. Germain, 1 pt. Aviation gin (a local gin that is very light and floral), a dash of Austrian stone pine liquer, and maybe 1 pt. sparkling water infused with lime. The stone pine and the juniper from the gin complemented the piney qualities of the rosemary and the tartness of the rhubarb, and the St. Germain sweetened it up a bit (complemented by the floral qualities of the Aviation). They were pretty amazing; Cass is developing some mad skills as a mixologist.

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