Spring Cocktails

1 06 2008

Springtime typically brings a number of occasions for celebration – graduations, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, wedding showers, birthdays, etc.  What better way to toast your special occasion than with a cocktail inspired by the blossoming season?  Even if that occasion is just a Friday night with your friends!

A number of cocktails are made with a simple syrup (water and dissolved sugar) or sour mix as an ingredient.  I’ve taken that idea and developed a syrup made from fresh strawberries and rhubarb.  It’s both sweet and tart and provides a refreshing change from the usual cranberry juice mix. 

Strawberry-Rhubarb Syrup

Yields approximately 1 cup

(VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY)

  • 2 stalks rhubarb, diced (approx.  1-1/4 cup)
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium-low and cover pot.
  2. Simmer on medium-low heat until fruit is softened, approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Mash cooked fruit with a potato masher until all solids resemble puree.  Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl and carefully pour fruit mixture into strainer.
  4. Stir the mixture in the strainer with a spoon until the liquid has all strained through leaving just pulp (it can take a while because the puree is quite thick).   Discard fruit solids.
  5. Return the liquid from the bowl to the saucepot and simmer on medium heat until it’s reduced by about half.   Remove from heat and cool.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Canadian 75

Makes 1 drink

(VEGETARIAN)

This is a variation on a classic cocktail called a French 75.  The original is made with simple syrup but the strawberry-rhubarb syrup adds a new dimension of flavour.  The night my husband proposed we were drinking French 75 cocktails so it is a drink that always makes me smile.  Don’t use expensive champagne for this – an inexpensive, dry sparkling wine will suffice.

  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz strawberry-rhubarb syrup (see recipe above)
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Dry sparkling wine

Combine gin, syrup, and lemon in a champagne flute.  Top with sparkling wine.

 

Le Printemps

Makes 1 drink

(VEGETARIAN)

This martini-style cocktail is a refreshing alternative to the Cosmopolitan craze that has swept the drink scene over the past few years. 

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/4 cup strawberry-rhubarb syrup (see recipe above)
  • 5 – 6 ice cubes
  • Dry sparkling wine
  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, strawberry-rhubarb syrup and ice.  Shake well until combined.
  2. Strain into a martini glass and top with sparkling wine.  Garnish with a strawberry slice.

 

Springtime Kir

Makes 1 drink

(VEGETARIAN)

Kir Royale is an apertif often enjoyed before meals in France.  It’s made with cassis and champagne.  This is a new alternative to the classic drink.

  • 1/2 oz strawberry-rhubarb syrup
  • Dry sparkling wine

Pour strawberry-rhubarb syrup into the bottom of a champagne flute.  Top with sparkling wine.

Bon Appetit and Enjoy!

 

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20 03 2009
Spring - At Last! « The Seasonal Gourmet

[…] Spring Cocktails […]

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