Grazing: Raspberry-Rhubarb Mojito, aka Drinking the Garden | Bite Club
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Grazing: Raspberry-Rhubarb Mojito, aka Drinking the Garden

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM

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Behind my house is a rhubarb patch in its prime, with floppy deep-green leaves and stalks the color of bubblegum. I'm not much of a baker, so rhubarb crisps and crumbles and clafoutis won't appear in my kitchen anytime soon. I am, however, an enthusiastic drinker, and rhubarb can lend a racy tang and vegetal pucker to cocktails, as well as a bouncy, rose-colored hue.

Adding bits of rhubarb stalk to your drink won't do much of anything — a rhubarb simple syrup is the key to liquifying its charms. Boiling sliced rhubarb with sugar and water for about 15 minutes renders a rosy-pink syrup that smells like lemon candy, as well as a mush of rhubarb pulp that's delicious spooned over vanilla ice cream or yogurt (yum).

Since my garden is overrun with mint — which slowly strangles everything around it — mojitos seem like an ideal form of weed control. And mashing in some raspberries with the mint and rhubarb syrup yields a juicy, refreshing libation that tastes vaguely of summer. (BTW, strawberries work, too, but I've reached strawberry-rhubarb overload).

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Mojitos are usually made with silver rum, and some people consider using dark rum a blasphemy, turning the entire drink on its head. But for one version, I used the new bourbon-barrel-aged rum from Smuggler's Notch Distillery. It lent an oaky, boozy undercurrent which de-emphasized the fruitiness and made the drink more full-bodied. Either way, your teeth might end up speckled with mint shards and raspberry seeds. Welcome to spring drinkin'.

Raspberry-Rhubarb Mojito 

for the simple syrup:
4-5 stalks of rhubarb
1/2  cup sugar
3/4 cup water (I prefer a slightly less-sweet simple syrup; use 1:1 sugar/water for more sweetness.) 

for the drink:
a few sprigs of fresh mint
4-5 raspberries
lime, halved
2 oz. simple syrup
crushed ice
2 oz. white rum
1-2 oz. club soda

To make the simple syrup, wash the rhubarb stalks, then slice into roughly 1/2-inch slices. Place in a saucepan with sugar and water, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. (For an extra layer of flavor, you could add a knob of fresh ginger, some vanilla bean or lemon verbena). Turn down the flame and simmer until the rhubarb goes pale, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain syrup through a fine sieve. Leave the rhubarb mash on the sieve for awhile, as syrup will continue to drip out slowly.

Tear up 6-7 mint leaves and muddle these in a cocktail shaker with raspberries, a squeeze of 1/2 lime, and  simple syrup. Add ice and rum, shake and pour into a highball glass. Top with club soda. Serve.

Each week, Grazing highlights tasty, sometimes under-the-radar dishes and drinks that reflect the season. If you know of a local edible (or libation) worth making a fuss over, let me know: corin@sevendaysvt.com.

 

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About The Author

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch

Bio:
Food writer Corin Hirsch joined the Seven Days staff in 2011. She is the author of Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England, published by History Press in 2014.

More by Corin Hirsch

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