Thursday, April 5, 2012

A rhubarb drink? Yes, yes, yes

The idea of a rhubarb drink intrigued me.
   Rhubarb pie, yes. Rhubarb sauce for meat, yes.
   But a rhubarb drink?
   I saw the recipe for Rhubarb Punch (click for the recipe) in The Harrow Fair Cookbook by Canadians Moira Saunders and Lori Elstone. The authors wrote it was a long-time favorite recipe, served at family gatherings for years.
   I felt compelled to try the recipe out.
   I thought now was a good time to do so, as rhubarb is beginning its season and is showing up in supermarkets.
   However, I used frozen rhubarb as I was unable to find fresh. Frozen was an absolutely perfect substitute.
   The punch was delicious and refreshing. People who like rhubarb pie will fall head over heels for this drink (and almost everyone else will too!)
   The recipe said club soda or ginger ale could be used in the punch. I used club soda, and loved the taste.
   The recipe makes 16 servings, which is terrific for a large gathering, but not for just my husband and I.
   I halved the recipe, using six cups of frozen rhubarb instead of 12. I also didn’t thaw the rhubarb first before cooking it. Cooking it right from frozen, using the same cooking time in the recipe for fresh, is actually better.
   Because I used half the ingredients, I halved the cooking time as well.
   The recipe I linked to above is on a website with a story about The Harrow Fair Cookbook. Scroll down to find the Rhubarb Punch.
   Long strips of orange peel are placed in a large stockpot along with chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb and water. The mixture is boiled for 10 minutes (five if halving the recipe).
   The mixture is strained, leaving the liquid in a bowl or pitcher and the rhubarb pulp and orange zest in the strainer. (I strained the liquid into a pitcher to save room in the refrigerator).
   Sugar (I used an equal amount of Splenda instead) is stirred into the hot liquid and dissolved.
   At this point, the rhubarb concentrate is refrigerated until cold. When ready to serve, club soda is added.
   Since it was just my husband and I having the drinks, I made them individually in glasses. I put ice in each glass, then the concentrate and finally the club soda, then stirred each drink gently. This is the best way to make the drinks if you’re not serving them to a crowd.
   For individual drinks, I used 2.7 oz (82 ml) of rhubarb concentrate and ½ cup (125 ml) of club soda.

No comments: