simple syrup

Rhubarb Collins and a Recipe for Simple Syrup

This past weekend was spent basking in the glorious sun, eating pizza, and riding bikes. It was a romantic weekend, just Mr. H and I, enjoying each others company and enjoying Seattle. The weekend started with a bottle of Prosecco and a pizza from here. We celebrated a promotion, good weather and each other. We ate caramel cookie crunch gelato, and then watched a movie. Too much bubbly and a full belly, I was asleep within minutes, missing the entire movie - sigh.

We ate more pizza here and went roller skating here, thanks to this recommendation. We rented some skates, laced them up as tight as possible, taking note to bring longer socks next time. What an unsettling feeling with 4 wheels attached to each foot. After a couple of loops, I was pleasantly surprised at our natural roller skating ability. Must have been all those years spent on the ice rink. As we skate/dance/look like total idiots round and round the rink, dodging children like a virtual video game, I can't help but feel like I have died and gone somewhere magical. Strobe lights, red and blue lazers, a giant disco ball, slushies, Tone Loc, Digital Underground, and Stacey Q. If you could sum up the perfect night, this would be it.

As if the weekend couldn't get any better, the next day I stepped out my front door to find 30 or so food trucks parked down my street. So Sunday I ate. And then I ate again. I attempted to bike and failed, so I went to the market, grabbed a fresh bunch of bright pink rhubarb, and made some sweet delicious syrup. I sat down and poured myself a Gin Collins, and then reminisced - roller skating, pizza, and Tone Loc. I felt incredibly classy drinking a beautiful pink gin drink on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

makes 2 cups of syrup

2 cups rhubarb, chopped
2 cups water
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
cheese cloth for straining

Wash the rhubarb, cut off the leaves and discard (do not eat the leaves as they are toxic).

Chop the rhubarb into small 1/2 pieces.

Place the rhubarb into a medium sized pot along with the water, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. The rhubarb should now start to loose its color, diluting the water a beautiful pink hue.

Once the rhubarb has started to boil, reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Try to minimize the amount of stirring, and do not mash the rhubarb with the spoon. This will prevent any small particles from getting into the syrup.

Once the rhubarb has simmered, remove from the stove and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Place the cheese cloth over a both and fasten with an elastic band. Carefully, pour the rhubarb into the bowl allowing the cheesecloth to catch the rhubarb pieces and let the juices strain through. Gently remove the elastic band, grab the corners of the cheesecloth, and pull together creating a ballon around the rhubarb. Gently squeeze out the rest of the syrup with your hands.

Discard the leftover rhubarb, or refrigerate for a later use. You can mix it with some yogurt or spread it onto toast. Can be kept in the fridge for one week.

Pour the rhubarb syrup into a glass jar and store in the fridge for one week. Can be added to soda water or used in a Rhubarb Collins - see recipe below.

makes 1 drink

(one shot glass usually = 1.5 ounces)
1.5 oz gin
1 oz rhubarb syrup
few quirts of lime juice
soda water

In a martini shaker, add the gin, rhubarb syrup, lime juice, and ice.

Shake a couple of times.

Fill a glass with a couple pieces of ice. Pour the gin over the ice, and then top with soda water.

For some extra pizzaz, you can rim the glass with some pink sugar and serve with a slice of lime. Perfect for a sunny afternoon.