Story & Recipes: JOY FLANAGAN
Images: AMBER LOCKE
When it's winter in New England, I love the excuse snow gives me to stay in and read, watch movies, or try out a new recipe. After a few months of brisk cold though, anyone would celebrate the first signs of spring, and hearty stalks of rhubarb are certainly one of those signifiers. The tang of their stalks is no stranger to cocktails, as it has been a key ingredient in bitter aperitif liqueurs such as Aperol and Zucca for many years. I like to showcase the beautiful tartness in refreshing highballs that prove a great way to toast to the changing seasons.
Salted Rhubarb Lemonade
1.5 oz Vodka
.5 oz Art in the Age Rhubarb Tea Liqueur
.75 oz Simple syrup (1:1 sugar water)
1.5 oz Lemon juice
A squeeze of rhubarb puree
Bar spoon salt water (1:3 salt to water)
Mix all ingredients, shake and strain over ice in a Collins glass
Top with soda water
Simmer chopped rhubarb with enough water to just cover.
When rhubarb has softened, puree the combination. Strain to make smooth.
.5 oz Lemon juice
.5 oz Rhubarb-vanilla shrub
.25 oz Averna*
1 oz Bourbon
1 oz Sherry
Dash of Fee Brother's cardamom bitters
Shake and strain over ice in a Collins glass
Top with a splash of soda water
*Averna is a Sicilian liquor made with herbs, roots and citrus rinds. After the liquor is infused, caramel is added to create a sweet thick drink and has a gentle herbal bitterness.
Rhubarb Vanilla Shrub
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 split vanilla bean
Simmer all ingredients together then strain the mixture to get a syrup.