This is part two of the Rhubarb Happy Hour series. Watch for future posts in this series over the coming months.
Oh spring, you fickle thing. Just when I think we might be turning the corner, you hesitate. I’m certainly not going to complain; you’ve been good to us this year, but your fear of commitment is kind of cramping my style. I know you’re a live-in-the-moment season, and that I should be carelessly enjoying today’s high of 70 degrees, but I just can’t ignore that low of 33 degrees that crept back into the weekend forecast. That’s harsh, spring, really harsh. I guess if you’re not ready to commit yet, then I’ll just have to make my own spring without you.
Coincidentally, this installment of the Rhubarb Happy Hour series is pretty much spring in bottle. Rhubarb liqueur is light, refreshing, and seasonably pink. If it doesn’t make you think spring, I don’t know what will.
Now, if liqueur is not really your thing, don’t pass this one up just yet. I would say that I’m still acquiring my taste for liqueur. I’ve tried some good ones, and some not so good ones, and I think what it comes down to is that I often find liqueurs to be too sweet for my taste. Which is exactly why the idea of a rhubarb liqueur intrigued me. No one ever seems to accuse rhubarb of being too sweet. The flavor is a balance of sweet and tart, just like you would expect. It’s very reminiscent of lemonade, but a lemonade followed by distinctive warm sensation from the vodka.
This is another really easy recipe with a big impact. Assuming that you’ve already infused the vodka
, you just need a few minutes to make some simple syrup, something to do while it cools (I made dinner and planted a packet of radish seeds), and a few more minutes to finish up. And whether you serve it chilled or at room temperature, straight up or mixed with a little sparkling water or soda, it will be perfect for sipping in a sunny spot on the deck. Spring, you can join the party, too; just bring your flip flops and a fresh from the garden spinach salad when you’re ready to commit.
1 part Rhubarb Infused Vodka
1 part water
1 part sugar*
Start by making simple syrup: combine equal parts water and sugar in a sauce pan and heat until boiling (all the sugar will be dissolved). Set the syrup aside to cool completely.
When the syrup has completely cooled, add the syrup to the rhubarb vodka and mix well. Serve at room temperature or chilled, according to taste. Store rhubarb liqueur in an air tight jar or bottle; the flavor will continue to develop over the first month.
*You can reduce the amount of sugar used, according to taste.