When I was a girl, I lived on the main level of our ranch style home. I spent a great deal of time in my backyard, using the mini ladder I built to get in and out of my bedroom window. In fact, one summer I turned my step-father’s tool shed into a winter commune complete with a hammock, space heater and all of my Nancy Drew books. I loved my room, I really did, but there was just something about “roughing it” in a strange space that I loved even more though. I was one of those kids who setup camp in a tent for the whole summer. I had dreams of building a tipi down by the river at the edge of my neighborhood. My black lab, Jade, would go fishing for crawdads with me. Someday I would learn everything about becoming a professional sleuth from my books. We would be wilderness living girls (Jade, the black lab and I), complete with fresh-cooked seafood, solving mysteries by day and cuddling in the hammock by night.
I never built my tipi, but I did learn how to make face paint by crushing berries and bugs. I used hotdogs to catch my dinner (that my mum cooked). I learned about gardening and herbs and how to make mint tea from the perennial mint that grew next to the rhubarb right underneath my bedroom window.
I also learned that rhubarb leaves are poisonous. Did you know that? Well don’t eat them. I never did, thank goodness, because my step-dad told me I might die if I did. As a child, I couldn’t eat rhubarb at all. I was so terrified that a bit of the leaves would rub off onto the stalks that got put into pie and if we ate any, my whole family would die. I know better now and am slowly incorporating rhubarb into my diet (although still a bit weary).
Rhubarb Rosemary Gin Sour
Yield 1 Drink
2 oz. gin (I used Tanqueray for this drink)
1 oz. lime juice
2 oz. rhubarb simple syrup
3/4 oz. rhubarb bitters
1 oz. lemon lime soda
lime slices for garnish
rosemary sprigs for garnish
Rhubarb Simple Syrup
4 stalks of rhubarb, chopped
1/2 c. honey (I like using dark amber for this, but any will do)
1 c. water
1. Create the simple syrup by combining all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bringing to a boil over medium-high heat. When the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat, add a lid and simmer for 15-20 mins. Strain through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Squish the rhubarb down to extract all the liquid you can. Refrigerate for approx 1 hour or more for best results (can be used immediately if you use a lot of ice when shaking).
2. Combine all the ingredients (sans garnish) in a metal shaker with a generous serving of ice. Shake vigorously. Pour over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with rosemary and a lime wheel.