Rhubarb & Ginger Sparkler
I've been thinking a lot about homemade soda lately. I happen to own a SodaStream - a simple device for making fizzy water at home. Of course, you can add more than lemon to your home-bubbled H2O like we did at the Hot Dog Cookoff using P&H's delicious and natural soda syrups in Ginger, Lime, Hibiscus and Cream flavors.
It's also easy to make your own flavored syrups. Dave (of Dave's Kitchen) has a good post about using summer berries here.
I was inspired to make a rhubarb and ginger syrup after getting a bunch of rhubarb in my CSA share. I had a bottle of Bulldog gin just begging to be made into a stiff summer drink, so it was an obvious pairing.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Rhubarb's come and gone already. Well, you are mostly right, but I actually saw it for sale this week at The Garden in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Plus, some of you, like me, might have some tucked away in the freezer. Rather than save this recipe for next June, here it is now - feel free to adapt it to by subbing in a more seasonally-appropriate fruit - how about a peach & ginger syrup that you mix with Bourbon? Yum!
Rhubarb Ginger Syrup
Makes about 2 cups
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar
6-7 1/8" slices of ginger
1 1/2 cups water
Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is very soft, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool for a bit, then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean glass jar or bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
You can save the the rhubarb solids to use like jam (seriously - spread that jam on hot buttered toast!!) or mix into yogurt - just be sure to pick out the ginger.
For the sparklers:
Pour about 2 ounces of syrup into a glass with ice, add fizzy water and a twist of lemon. Taste, add more syrup if you like it sweeter.
You know what to do. Add a jigger of gin or vodka to the sparkler above for a grown-up drink. Enjoy!