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Rhubarb Spritzers

June 15, 2011

The Tony Awards Ceremony took place on Sunday and what better way to celebrate an award show than with a group of friends and champagne?  Not just any champagne, but fruit-infused spritzers!  It’s what I brought to the party and I’m ready to make more for future backyard get-togethers.

This delicious recipe comes from Louisa Shafia’s Lucid Food; Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life.  The cover of her cookbook features a gorgeous photograph of rhubarb, which caught my eye immediately.  The rouge-blushed, celery-looking vegetable that poses as a fruit, intrigues me to no end!  Every morning last week, I revisited the book for summer recipe ideas and, by almost a random act of events, I happened to meet the author at the end of the week!  Louisa is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, which I currently attend.  She was teaching an evening public class at the school on veggie burgers.  I was stoked!  Talk about good timing right?

I don’t usually publish unaltered recipes, but Louisa gave me permission.  The method is in my own words, but the recipe needed no change.  It’s simple, fruity and refreshing!  Enjoy!

 

Rhubarb Spritzers
Recipe from Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life, by Louisa Shafia
Makes 8 cups

Ingredients:
10 stalks fresh rhubarb
2 cinnamon sticks
honey, to taste
champagne or seltzer water
4 strawberries, thinly sliced
1 spring mint

1: Trim off and discard leaves of rhubarb.  Cut stalks into 2-inch pieces. Place rhubarb and cinnamon sticks into a medium or large pot and fill with water, just until the fruit is covered. Cover with a lid and bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
2: Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Use the back of a spoon to press out all liquid from the pulp.  (Pulp may be saved for a filler in another dessert recipe or discarded.) Whisk in honey, then allow liquid to cool before serving.
3: To serve- pour mixture into glasses, then finish with champagne or seltzer water.  Garnish with a strawberry and a mint leaf.

Note: Though rhubarb is quite tart, don’t go overboard on the sweetener. Simmering the fruit with water dilutes some of the sour flavor, so it surprisingly doesn’t require much honey. 


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