Author Notes: I’m just back from a fabulous day spent preserving and canning rhubarb creations at Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s beautiful home with other Food52 peeps, including our fearless leader Amanda. As per usual with a Food 52 event, the food was amazing and plentiful: homemade cheeses by SallyCan, frittata, salads, homemade sausages by the Charcutepalooza Queen herself, and other spreads, pickles and preserves….and the desserts! There was plenty to choose from. Yours truly was in charge of beverages, and I wanted something light and refreshing. I have had strawberry and basil cocktails before, but the theme of the day was Rhubarb – so here is my take on a Rhubarb and Basil Cocktail. They’re refreshing and light as promised, not too sweet, and you can booze them up or down or not at all according to your preference. —Burnt Offerings
Serves: rhubarb puree makes about 3 cups, directions are for one drink with puree
cups fresh, chopped rhubarb pieces
basil leaves – chiffonade
ounces citron vodka (or as much or little vodka as you like)
- Place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a large pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then pour into a blender, or use an immersion blender right in the pot and puree the rhubarb mixture until smooth.
- Strain the rhubarb puree in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to remove any fibrous bits of rhubarb. Pour puree into a jar and refrigerate.
- To make a cocktail. Chiffonade a few basil leaves and add them to a tall glass with ice. Muddle them a little.
- Pour in the desired amount of vodka.
- Fill glass almost to the top with seltzer, leaving room for the rhubarb puree.
- Place 2-3 tablespoons of puree in the glass and mix well with a zwizzle stick.
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