An easy-to-prepare syrup is the base of this refreshing mocktail or cocktail that looks, smells and tastes like springtime. The best part? The syrup freezes beautifully, for delicious sipping all summer long. With its pale pink hue and bright, not-too-sweet flavour, the rhubarb syrup concocted for this cocktail has lots of uses – it’s great drizzled on pancakes or served over frozen yogurt and ice cream. I sometimes package up a jar of rhubarb syrup with a bottle of wine and one of soda water – the combination makes a much-appreciated gift that’s easy for front-porch drop offs these days.
For the rhubarb syrup:
- 2 cups (500 mL) chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
- Few slices fresh ginger root
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) white sugar
For one spritzer:
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) chilled rhubarb syrup
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) white wine (optional)
- Ice cubes
- Soda or tonic water
- Make the syrup by putting the rhubarb, ginger slices, sugar and water in a medium-sized pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes.
- Let mixture cool for 10 minutes then strain into a clean glass jar or jug. For syrup that is less cloudy, don’t press down on the cooked rhubarb as it drains. Refrigerate the syrup until ready to make drinks.
- To make the spritzer, put rhubarb syrup in a wine glass, followed by wine and ice. Top with soda or tonic water and serve.
Note: The syrup recipe makes one cup. Extra syrup can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to 6 months.