I've noticed with hyper-seasonal produce, I can never choose just one way of preparing it. I end up buying it 6 or 7 times in a season and making literally everything I can think of. Maybe it's crazy, but we had a long winter and I'm just too excited that there's more at the markets than just root vegetables and citrus.
After making tons of rhubarb soda, the thought of adding alcohol naturally came up. We make a lot of cocktails in my house. Maybe it's since we're gluten-free, we don't drink a ton of GF beer (although post on that later, I have some faves). We're also not the biggest wine drinkers. Plus, Joe Chernus has to do something to make up for all my cooking ;). As much as he's often the cocktail man, this one I came up with myself. The bramble is one of my favorite cocktails for the summer because it's gin-based, has muddled fruit and feels light enough for a even the hottest day. So, here's to happy hour.
RHUBARB ROSE Simple Syrup (vegan, gluten-free)
3 cups rhubarb, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 cups water
1 teaspoon rose water
Place rhubarb, sugar, and 1½ cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the syrup is bright pink.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Strain syrup into a large jar.
RHUBARB RASPBERRY BRAMBLE COCKTAIL (Serves 1):
1 ounce Creme De Mure
1 1/2 ounces dry gin
1 ounce rhubarb syrup
6 large raspberries
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice (reserve peel for garnish)
Combine lemon juice and raspberries in a pint glass and muddle until berries are broken up. Add rhubarb syrup, gin and ice. Stir well to combine until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass (over ice or straight up). Top off with soda water. Garnish with lemon peel and serve immediately.
*If you're into texture, don't strain the muddled fruit from the glass. I've tried it both ways and I love it all.