Here's the thing about me and rhubarb. It's a fruit that grows in spring but I always crave rhubarb cocktails in fall. I have no idea why and it's annoying because I can't get fresh rhubarb in the fall. But I'm aware of my odd craving so I always freeze some just for this reason. (I also freeze a few full stalks as garnish; by putting a bamboo skewer in them I can keep the frozen stalk from drooping as it defrosts in the cocktail and that chilled stalk helps keep my cocktail chilled!) I really have no other use for rhubarb except for Rhubarb Chutney, that recipe is included here as well.
Come to think of it, I see chutney as kind of a fall condiment, maybe that's why I associate rhubarb with fall. Nevertheless, when summer temperatures drop here in Tucson, I'm ready for rhubarb cocktails and a favorite is a Rhubarb Old Fashioned.
Garnish: Stalk of Rhubarb (cut off the leaves as they are toxic). I also added a hollowed out lemon filled with some of my chutney and a glass stir stick in case anyone wanted to add a little spicy rhubarb kick to their drink.)
Glass: Old Fashioned
Tools: Stir Stick
Chill the glass in the freezer while you get your ingredients in place.
Add the lemon juice and Rhubarb Ginger Simple Syrup to the chilled glass and swirl it around.
Add ice cube(s) then pour in the Templeton Rye and the Rhubarb Bitters and stir until chilled.
Garnish and serve.
*Rhubarb Ginger Simple Syrup
1-1/2 Cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Rhubarb, Fresh or Frozen, Chopped
1 Tsp. Freshly Grated Ginger
Bring the ingredients to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Mash the rhubarb up with a potato masher to release more of the juice.
Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 3 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
Strain out the solids BUT set them aside to add to your Rhubarb Chutney below!
Stores bottled in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, longer if you add a tablespoon of vodka.
Rhubarb Ginger Chutney
3/4 C. Sugar
1/3 C. Bourbon (or aged rum)
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Zested, Fresh Ginger
(Only 1 teaspoon if you are using the leftover rhubarb from the simple syrup.)
2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1/4 Tsp. Ground Clove
1/2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/3 C. Chopped Red Onion
1/2 C. Dried Cranberries
16 Oz. Chopped Rhubarb, Fresh or Frozen (I used the leftover rhubarb from my simple syrup plus another 8 ounces of my frozen rhubarb.)
In a large saucepan, bring everything but the rhubarb, onions and cranberries to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium until the sugar dissolves.
Add the rhubarb, onion and cranberries and simmer on med-low until the mixture thickens enough to spoon onto toast, meat, or whatever you're serving it with. With the added bourbon this took about 15 minutes, just keep an eye on it.
Allow to cool (or serve warmed if you prefer) and serve with cream cheese and garlic toast.
Also great on pork ribs and chops and grilled chicken!
TIP: Be sure to blanch your rhubarb before freezing to keep the beautiful colors bright.