Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Healthy Cocktail

  I have to thank and give credit to my friend Molly for this magnificent rhubarb elixir recipe. It came about from an abundance in her garden and a need to somehow utilize rather than waste a terrific crop. 

 The pink hue is so intense, when she brought out a jug of the fuchsia colored juice , I could only imagine something forbidden and fake like that thirst quenching concoction from my childhood of a packet of food coloring and sugar dumped into a pitcher of water.  You know the one where the guy shaped like a huge pitcher of red "fruit" juice smashes through the wall?  Imagine my delight when Molly told me that her punch recipe is made up of chopped rhubarb, a large handful of mint, a light dusting of sugar and water.   It's actually quite healthy.
  Molly pours hers into a glass filled with ice: about 2/3 full of the rhubarb magic and tops it off with soda water, then adds a wedge of lemon or lime.  The concoction is perfectly refreshing.  The small amount of sugar still allows the tartness of the rhubarb to to come through and the steeped mint gives the drink and earthy funk.  I love it.
  Of course, I think this potion is even better used in a cocktail.   (Don't you know me by now?)  See below for the antidote to a hot summer day or just any kind of "day".  But if you are feeling like a detox is in order, or you have a need to keep it "healthy", the non-alcoholic version is divine, too.  Especially when you add even more anti-oxidants by coupling your mock-tail with a piece of fine dark chocolate.  No guilt!

Rhubarb Elixir
(makes one large pitcher)
5 cups chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar (or less, depending on taste)
1 big bunch fresh mint
8 cups water

Add all ingredients to a stock pot.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until rhubarb is completely broken down and mint has wilted.  Cool mixture.  Strain in a mesh sieve.  Discard all solids.  Refrigerate magical juice for up to a week.

Rhubarb Margarita
(makes 2)

1 cup Rhubarb Elixir
1 1/2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 oz. silver tequila
lime wedges

Add Rhubarb Elixir, agave nectar and tequila to a shaker filled with ice.  Cover and shake vigorously until your hands stick to the outside of the shaker.  Pour into fancy glasses.  Squeeze one wedge of lime into each glass and toss into drink.  Enjoy thoroughly.

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