Last year we discovered the magic of blueberry-rhubarb pie. With the blueberry season almost upon us, and the rhubarb still going strong, I hope we’ll get a chance to revisit this recipe many times.
This year, as I commenced my garden cocktail “research,” I noticed that rhubarb was making quite a splash on the scene. So, we made some rhubarb syrup and started experimenting. My prediction is that it will have a very successful career as a cocktail ingredient because, even though rhubarb does not have a very distinctive taste of its own, its unique tartness combines so spectacularly with many other fruit flavors. And therefore I find it a delightful upgrade from the sweet-and-sour mix (store-bought versions of which tend to be disgusting if not lethal).
After a few experiments in our home mixology lab, I thought of our favorite blueberry-rhubarb pie. And immediately ran downstairs to the delightful Grace Wine & Spirits to procure a bottle of Stoli Blueberi that I had become intimately acquainted with during my gimlet-drinking days, a long, long time ago. Blueberry, rhubarb, orange zest (hold the vanilla though — unless you’re 100% sure you like it in cocktails) and voilá: The Bluebarb!
- 2 parts blueberry vodka (I used Stoli Blueberi)
- 1 part rhubarb syrup
- a dash of Peychaud’s bitters (in addition to taste, their red color makes the cocktail look more rhubarby)
- an orange twist
Shake and strain into a martini glass. Or serve on the rocks. Or even add a splash of soda for a less-alcoholic, more summery version, as seen in this photo — it was HOT (97F) in Hell’s Kitchen yesterday!
- 4 parts chopped rhubarb stalks
- 2 parts water
- 1 part sugar
Bring to a quick boil, reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes, let it cool down and strain. You can mash the solid chunks of rhubarb into a puree and use it for desserts or some other cocktail. Keep refrigerated, obviously.
I think this rhubarb syrup might also combine quite nicely with ginger… Will explore and report back!