This month’s Recipe Redux challenge is pushing me out of my comfort zone! We were encouraged to come up with a cocktail/mocktail recipe for May celebrations. While I’m super comfortable combining and experimenting with flavors in a dish, doing so in a cocktail is totally uncharted territory for me.
I decided that I wanted my cocktail to be seasonal and fun and since some members of my family, myself included, have been soaking up as much rhubarb as possible while this seasonal treat is around, I figured it was a natural starting point. I am a big, big fan of sparkling wine and when it comes to celebrating, I will always choose bubbles. So with those two parameters in mind, I set out to create something simple and fun.
This Strawberry-Rhubarb-Mint Fizz is so, SO much fun. It is fizzy and bright, and since the main ingredient is an infused simple syrup, you can make it into a cocktail or a mocktail (my boys have been loving their strawberry-rhubarb soda!). If you have never made a simple syrup before, it is called a simple syrup because it is just that: simple. All you are doing is dissolving sugar in some water, and in this case, some other flavors. The other thing that is great about simple syrup is that it will last for a long time in the fridge, so don’t worry about having to use it all up in one go (or make a huge punch, which would definitely make you the life of the party!).
Oh, and a fun little perk: after you strain your simple syrup you will be left with a sort of fruit puree. Don’t throw it out! If possible, pull out the mint leaves, and then use it as a topping for pancakes, French toast, waffles, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.
So really today you are getting three recipes for the price of one! A simple syrup, a cocktail, and a fruit puree recipe. Cha-ching! I hope that these recipes will bring much happiness and laughter to your celebrations this season!
- For Simple Syrup:
- ¾ cup chopped rhubarb
- ¾ cup whole strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 8 large mint leaves
- For Fizz:
- 4 oz dry sparkling white wine
- 2 tablespoons strawberry-rhubarb-mint simple syrup
- 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
- For Simple Syrup: Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is totally collapsed. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer, or a regular strainer lined with a cheesecloth, and gather the syrup into a bowl or jar. Put it into the refrigerator to chill, then put the fruit puree into a sealed container and save for breakfast!
- For Fizz: Pour the sparkling wine into your champagne flute, add the simple syrup, and brandy, if using, and then give it a very gentle stir to combine. Celebrate!