Growing-up in Minnesota, I took rhubarb for granted.
My folks weren’t really into it. Rhubarb was this mysterious, sour pink stalky plant we dared each other to eat as kids. Jake remembers dipping it into sugar. As a young adult, I remember catering an event where the people ate all of the other summer pies except the rhubarb. The rhubarb slices came back to the kitchen where we happily enjoyed them.
I realized they were fools.
Rhubarb is a gem. Other states may have warmer climates or avocado trees, but they probably won’t have rhubarb. Eat all the rhubarb you can during our fleeting Minnesotan summers.
It’s hard to describe the flavor of cooked rhubarb. It’s tangy, fruity, and delicately floral. You can bake it into pies, cakes, cookies, and bars and make glazes to compliment fishes and meat.
I like making rhubarb syrup for cocktails and spritzers. This syrup is really easy to prepare and captures rhubarb’s fruity floral essence. We enjoy it in spritzers of cocktails at home.
For a recipe with exact instructions check out Tori Avey’s Homemade Rhubarb Syrup post. I usually wing it.
A bunch of rhubarb, washed and trimmed (after trimming, mine equalled about 4.5 cups.)
Enough water to cover + an inch or two extra.
- Chop rhubarb into small pieces and put in saucepan. Don’t stress about making this pretty or perfectly uniform because it’s all going to cook down.
- Cover with water, adding an extra inch or so.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until the rhubarb is mush. Mash.
- Strain mixture by pouring through a sieve. Smash the mixture around so that you don’t waste any liquid. Strain in batches if your sieve is small.
- Pour the liquid back into a saucepan. Add sugar (I started with a cup), stir, and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer until the sugar is melted and the texture is syrupy. You can always add more sugar.
- Let cool for a bit and pour into a glass jar. Store in fridge.
To make a rhubarb cocktail:
- Combine a good splash of rhubarb syrup and vodka in a glass. Add a splash of soda water and a squeezed lime wedge.
- Stir and taste. Add more syrup if it’s not sweet enough.
- Add ice and enjoy.
- Omit vodka to make a spritzer.