I think of rhubarb as the rose-colored glasses of seasonal produce.
Here in the northwest, it’s the first of the tart-sweet jam, crisp, cobbler pie-makers to show up at the market. When I have my rhubarb-colored glasses on, I can just taste the parade of berries and pit fruits about to come (in reality, they are months away).
These past few weeks we’ve had roasted rhubarb (so good) and crisps, but I was still left with a few stalks. Rhubarb syrup to mix into sodas was the answer.
For our rhubarb syrup, I used about 2 cups sliced rhubarb, 1.5 cups water, 1 cup sugar and some lemon zest (about a teaspoon). I brought everything to boil in a saucepan and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so until the rhubarb was soft and the syrup was thick and pink. Once cooled, I passed it through a fine strainer, pushing with a wooden spoon so a little pulp came through. To make our sodas, we used one part syrup to two parts sparkling water over ice, garnished with mint (the only thing really growing in our garden right now). My kids finished it off in an afternoon, but next time, I’d like to try to mix a rhubarb cocktail—then I’d really have my rhubarb-colored glasses on.