When it comes to rhubarb we have two standard recipes: these popsicles and Rosemary Rhubarb Daiquiris.
As a rule, we’re red wine people. But it’s fun to have an occasional cocktail, usually of the gin variety in our house: a good martini with olives or a G&T. So I’m not sure why this drink caught my eye in the April 2009 issue of Bon Appetit. Maybe it was that pretty sprig of rosemary poking out of the top. Whatever it was, I made it, and we’ve had it every year since when the scarlet stalks of rhubarb appear at the farmer’s market.
It’s not just the pleasantly sour flavor of raw rhubarb or the perky, earthy hint of rosemary that I love in this cocktail. It’s also not too sweet, very refreshing, and one recipe makes the perfect amount to fill a pitcher to share with friends.
Look for the reddest stalks of rhubarb you can find so you’ll end up with pretty pink cocktails instead of murky green ones (though they’d still be tasty).
Rosemary Rhubarb Daiquiri
- 2 1/4 cups water divided
- 1/2 cup sugar divided
- 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 stalks fresh rhubarb diced
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice divided
- 1 1/2 cups white rum
- 8 sprigs fresh rosemary for garnish
Heat 1 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add 1/2 cup rosemary leaves. Steep for 5 minutes then strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on rosemary. Discard rosemary and let syrup cool.
Add diced rhubarb, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 1/4 cups water, and 1/4 cup sugar to a blender. Blend into a coarse puree. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, using a spoon to coax liquid through mesh. (You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your sieve.) Squeeze pulp with your hands to release as much liquid as possible. Discard pulp.
Cover and refrigerate rhubarb juice and rosemary syrup separately for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
When you're ready to make daiquiris, mix rhubarb juice, rosemary syrup, remaining lemon juice, and rum in a pitcher. Stir to combine.
Serve daiquiris in glasses filled with ice. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.