Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mint, spinach, asparagus & rhubarb

Signs of spring...fresh mint tea, young spinach greens, steamed asparagus picked from the garden, and tangy rhubarb. Oh, do I ever love rhubarb! Rhubarb crisp, apple-rhubarb pie, rhubarb muffins, strawberry-rhubarb jam, rhubarb sauce over vanilla icecream, and rhubarb drinks. Here is a recipe I've been asked for by several people, a perfect light fruity drink for a warm spring day: rhubarb cordial (other fruit or berries can be substituted to make a wide variety of old-fashioned fruit cordials).

Rhubarb Cordial

1 1/2 cups rhubarb, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger, optional
1 cup white sugar or honey
1 1/2 cups water
Mineral water/sparkling water
ice, optional
Fresh mint sprigs

1) Place rhubarb, ginger, sugar and water in saucepan. Boil, then turn down to simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture forms a bright pink syrup. This is your fruit syrup.

2) Turn off heat and allow syrup to cool. Strain into a large mason jar. This syrup stores for about 2 weeks in the fridge, but you will surely use it sooner!

3) To serve a fruit cordial, measure 1/4 cup rhubarb-ginger syrup into a glass. Add Mineral water/sparkling water to fill the glass 2/3 full. Stir to mix well, then add ice. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

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