There sure are a whole lot of rhubarb recipes out there lately. I have to admit, I’ve never worked with rhubarb before. I guess I’ve never had the desire to make a whole pan of rhubarb crisp or crumble, simply because my little 5′, 96-lb frame cannot finish a 8×8″ pan of rhubarb crumble myself.
…So this is what I made with rhubarb for the first time ever:
I first encounter with rhubarb was the rhubarb strawberry crisp I had from Good Earth a few years back. That was the day when I decided that I liked rhubarb desserts. The sweetness of the strawberries balanced out the tartness of the rhubarb. The warm crumbles on top contrasted with the cold vanilla ice cream on the side – it was heavenly.
My coworker Shannon has a rhubarb plant in her backyard, and every year during rhubarb season, she would bring a bagful of rhubarb stalks to work for those that are interested to take home. She would set them on the tables in our break room, and within hours, they were all claimed and gone. It’s almost like she’s our department’s sole provider of rhubarb in the summer. Thanks Shannon! :)
Since this summer is all about trying new things, I decided to ask Shannon to bring some extra rhubarb stalks in for me. I got the inspiration for this recipe from Carpe Season’s sparkling rhubarb lemonade – incorporating rhubarb into a summery drink sounded like such a good idea! That way I won’t have to worry about finishing off a whole dessert myself within a few days (not that I haven’t done that before….).
Instead of mixing the rhubarb syrup with the Sprite and adding in the ice cubes, I decided to freeze the rhubarb syrup into ice cubes! If you freeze the syrup into ice cubes and add them to your Sprite, it not only still retains the lemony-rhubarb-fizzy goodness, it also prevents your beverage from being watered down. And any beverage that doesn’t get watered down over time is a win in my book.
- 1-1/4 cup water
- 1-2/3 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-2" strip lemon peel
- A handful of mint leaves
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 liter bottle of Sprite, more or less depending on how much you want
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, rhubarb, sugar, lemon peel, and mint leaves. Bring to a boil, them cover and simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Using a strainer, strain the rhubarb mixture over a medium bowl - I used a Pyrex measuring cup with a pour spout to make it easier for my next step. Discard the solids and stir in the lemon juice.
- Pour the rhubarb/lemon mixture into an ice cube tray. Freeze until solid, about 3-4 hours.
- When ready to serve, place a few ice cubes in a glass and top it off with Sprite. Garnish with a few extra mint leaves, if desired.
- The rhubarb/lemon mixture turns out to yield about 1-1/3 cup and filled about 12 ice cube wells in our tray.
Too bad Bentley couldn’t have any – he looked like he could’ve used something nice and cold and refreshing after playing in the sun for an hour…
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