A collection of seasonal recipes and stories

rhubarb collins

My to-do list is kicking my ass.  And not in the normal boy, am I busy way, either; it’s kicking my ass in more of a it’s 10:00 — do you mind if we just have pickles for dinner? way.  My point here is that it’s been a busy week — the sort of week in which last week’s clean laundry languishes unfolded at the foot of the bed and dust bunnies gather in corners to plot their eventual takeover of the living room and minor concerns like eating and sleeping slip to the bottom of the priority list.  After a week like that, a girl really deserves a cocktail.  Or seven.  Preferably in a warm, sandy spot near a large body of water, but the important thing is the cocktail.

Personally, I’m partial to gin, with its cool, refreshing crispness and its evocation of those happily irreverent flappers.  More importantly, it’s possible for me to drink copious amounts of gin and still be nice to people (the same is sadly not true of bourbon). Gin is really quite lovely on a hot, sunny afternoon and, as it turns out, it blends beautifully with the tangy tartness of rhubarb.  So beautifully that you barely notice the gin and may therefore find yourself frowning into your glass and erroneously declaring to the world at large that “this could use a lil’ more gin,” in which case you’re liable to end up knee-walking drunk in the middle of the afternoon.  Which, if you’ve had a week from hell, might not be such a bad thing.

Alternatively, you could be a good girl and just drink one.  Okay, two.

Rhubarb Collins
adapted from Gourmet
(serves 12)

2 lbs. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into ½” pieces
¾ c. sugar
3 c. water
¾ c. freshly squeezed lime juice
1¾ c.  (400 ml) gin
1½ oz. Cointreau or orange liquer
1 liter club soda
lime wedges for garnish

1) Bring rhubarb, sugar, and water to a boil in a large pot.  Stir until sugar dissolves, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the rhubarb falls apart, about 15 minutes.

2) Remove from the heat and cool for about 15 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl and drain for 15 minutes, then press gently on and discard solids.

3) Cool the syrup to room temperature, then pour it into 1 or 2 pitchers or jars and chill uncovered until cold, about 2 hours.  (I chilled mine in the freezer for about an hour)

4) Stir in the lime juice, gin and Cointreau.  

5) Fill glasses with ice and add the rhubarb-gin mixture, stopping about 1 inch from the rim of the glass. Top off with club soda. Run a wedge of lime around the rim of each glass, then squeeze lime into the drink.

12 responses

  1. kirby

    That does it, I’m planting rhubarb.

    June 14, 2009 at 9:54 pm

  2. What Kirby said.

    June 15, 2009 at 10:32 am

  3. Pretty!

    June 15, 2009 at 11:36 am

  4. Katie

    That’s the only pink and green accessory you’ll ever see in my presence! Reeks of Summer Solstice; I love it!

    June 15, 2009 at 6:05 pm

  5. Kim

    Looks delicious and refreshing! Just found your blog. You have a lot of nice recipes here!

    June 20, 2009 at 11:51 pm

  6. Jess

    Ok number one love all the rhubarb ideas. Number two bitter about the cocktail. Next summer I guess! I never really realized that this is not a southern item. Rob and I want to make a strawberry rhubarb pie, but whenever we do it is all runny. Are we supposed to cook the filling down first? A pie can only have so much corn starch!

    The cake is yummy! Hope all is well! House is coming along now that rob has some deadlines! Your next visit you will have to come see the progress! If it is a Christmas visit you will have to come see the house and the new baby…that was a scary line to add in there!!!!

    June 21, 2009 at 7:11 am

  7. Do you get Sunset? There was recipe a couple of months ago for basil gimlets. Just infuse a simple syrup with basil and use that and some fresh lime in place of Rose’s lime. Make the gimlet as usual. I made them and yum!

    The syrup doesn’t keep long, tho. The next weekend I tried to make the drink again with the syrup from the previous weekend, and refreshing basil gimlet had become weird pesto gimlet.

    June 26, 2009 at 7:10 pm

  8. Megan

    Kirby & Zoomie — You know, I need to plant some rhubarb too. Mine is imported from local farmers. But really, that stuff grows like crazy. . .might as well grow your own.

    Soda&Candy – Thanks!

    Katie – I was totally with you on the pink and green thing until I got dressed the other day and lo, pink + green. But not in a vomit-inducing Lily Pulitzer kind of way.

    Kim – Thank you and welcome!

    Jess – Hey, that’s what happens when you get yourself knocked up: no hooch for you. As for the pie, how large are your vents? Betcha you need more. Try a lattice top. Or cut out some (large) decorative shapes to let all the steam out. Next visit is October, I think. Although I still entertain thoughts of actually making it back this summer. I miss the ocean.

    Vikki – That sounds pretty yummy. I got a few trial issues of Sunset and liked it well enough, but my trial issues came during the winter and it made me sad to see things like gardens and basil gimlets and sunshine while I was busy shoveling two feet of snow off the driveway every day. *shudder* Let us not think of such things during the happy months.

    June 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm

  9. Miriam S.

    Great recipes. Love the cauliflower pie and drink recipes in particular:)

    February 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm

  10. This is just beautiful! I love the color and I can just imagine the flavor is perfectly refreshing. Especially sitting in that sandy spot by a body of water… :)

    August 14, 2010 at 9:17 am

  11. Pingback: rhubarb, rosemary & gin « When Harry Met Salad

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