Rhubarb Simple Syrup Cocktails
I can’t wait another moment to tell you about this rhubarb. It had already been on my mind for weeks, and then one morning, during a week bereft of delight and inspiration, where everything I saw, everything I read, everything I tried and wrote and wore seemed pale and uninspired, I decided a trip to the farmer’s market was just what I needed.
It worked, in a gentle, subtle kind of way. Just doing something out of the ordinary was the trick. I woke up a little earlier than usual and walked up to the park before work to poke around the stalls. I saw other early risers: spring onions, radishes, tender leaves of lettuce. Rhubarb outshone them all. But I wasn’t thinking about a ruby red pie with a flaky, buttery crust. I was thinking about a drink.
At home, I chopped a few stalks of rhubarb and cooked it with equal parts sugar and water. The color was enough to shake off off any lingering cloak of ennui. That vibrant, saturated pink! Have you ever seen something so unabashedly, outrageously lovely?
That evening, as soon as the clock struck five, I made a fake rosé spritzer: white wine and a spoonful of rhubarb syrup topped with seltzer. Over the weekend, when we had a Saturday night steak dinner at home, I made myself a Manhattan-ish cocktail with it in lieu of sweet vermouth. I’ve been thinking about how to describe the flavor to you and have fallen short. It tastes pink. Brightly feminine, sweet. I want to say it even tastes optimistic, but that might sound a little nuts. In any case, it’s perfect for a season of bridal showers, baby showers, and any old day that needs a shot of radiance.
Rhubarb Simple Syrup
Makes about 2 cups
3-4 stalks rhubarb, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
In a saucepan over moderately-high heat, bring rhubarb, sugar, and water to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes until rhubarb is softened. Strain mixture, mashing rhubarb to extract as much liquid from it as possible. Allow to cool, and transfer to a jar. Store in the fridge for up to three weeks.