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.
adapted from Gourmet
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.