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Loyal Sign of Summer – Rhubarb

Loyal Sign of Summer – Rhubarb

As a kid I had an aversion to rhubarb.  I guess my tender young taste buds couldn’t handle the strong tartness of  rhubarb pie or sauce.  Maybe it was because my mom was always skimping on sugar.

Now I have my own rhubarb patch and when those big green leaves reach for the sky it is a sure sign of spring.  I’ve come full circle with my relationship with rhubarb.  The beautiful pink hue is irresistible when you simmer it down into a strained liquid for a cocktail and the little hint of tart is balanced out when chopped up in a morning coffee cake.

Here’s a summer apéritif, Rhubarb Sunset,  everyone can cool down with.  First, we start with the foundation.

 Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Put the following ingredients into a small saucepan

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb

1 cup sugar

3 or so lemon strips

Rhubarb, water, sugar and lemon peel is all you need.

Simmer 15-20 minutes on the stove until the rhubarb is soft.  Strain the pink liquid through a sieve and cool in the refrigerator.  You can discard the solids.  This yields about 1 1/3 cups.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup’s beautiful pink hue.

Rhubarb Sunset

Fill a medium sized glass with ice and add the following.

2 oz. vodka

2 oz. rhubarb simple syrup

1 oz. orange juice

1/2 oz. lemon juice – just a squeeze is fine

top off with club soda or sparkling water

Make sure to adjust and taste as you add the water depending on how big your glass is.  I used a stemless wine glass. I filled it 3/4 with ice and after the ingredients were added I had enough room for about 1/4 cup of sparkling water.

The perfect summer apéritif.
Rhubarb Sunset

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