Friday, July 1, 2011

attack of the monster rhubarb

I was out at a farm a few weeks ago, and there was some giant, overgrown rhubarb plants. Surrounded by thorny vines from a neighbouring weed, harvesting stalks was a dangerous task. But well worth it. The best recipe for vast quantities of rhubarb? A delightful, tart, bright pink beverage.

10 cups of rhubarb
1/2 cup water
1-4 cups of sugar

Roughly chop the rhubarb. Cook in 1/2 cup water in a large pot for 30 -45 minutes. The rhubarb will break down and turn into 'stewed fruit.' Once the rhubarb has broken down, add sugar to your liking - 1 cup will give you a very tart drink, and 4 cups a very sweet drink. Pour the stewed rhubarb in to a fine sieve, and set over a large bowl. Encourage the rhubarb to strain by pressing with a ladle or large spoon. You are going to have lots of pulp left in the strainer. Save it and add it to a crumble or pie! What you want is the rhubarb syrup that has drained into the bowl. This is the concentrate for your drink. Dilute it with water to your liking - I found 1 part syrup to 8 parts water was about right.

Possible additions? Ribbons of mint, club soda, or strawberry garnishes.

I wish I had a picture - it's the most attractive, remarkable shade of pinky-purple. You could also use the syrup in cocktails. Gin, rhubarb syrup, club soda? Mmmmmmm.

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