The sweet and sour combination of strawberries and rhubarb is usually found in baked goods throughout the spring and summer, but they also make for a light, refreshing cocktail on a warm summer evening. Sweating the juice from the rhubarb with sugar gives it a sweeter, less tart flavor and also helps create an infused simple syrup to add to the cocktail.
If you like your drink a little sweeter, just add more of the simple syrup from the rhubarb or strawberries. The rhubarb can be made as much as 24 hours in advance to speed up the cocktail's prep time.
RECIPE: Strawberry Rhubarb Vodka Cocktail
Yields 2 servings
1/2 cup fresh rhubarb, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of finely ground raw sugar
4 medium strawberries, stems removed and thinly sliced
2 ounces vodka
Sparkling water, chilled
Mint sprigs for garnish
Thinly slice the rhubarb and cover in three tablespoons of raw sugar in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Allow it to sit for at least one hour to draw the juices out of the rhubarb. You can also do it several hours in advance, if you want it to be ready to serve quickly.
Slice strawberries thinly, place in a small bowl and cover with one teaspoon of sugar to draw the juices out for about 30 minutes.
When you're ready to mix the cocktail: First, muddle the rhubarb to break it up as much as possible in the bowl you used with the sugar. It should be soft and very juicy.
Spoon about a tablespoon of rhubarb plus some of the juice into a rocks glass.
Add two strawberries and some of the juice per glass and muddle over the rhubarb.
Pour one ounce of vodka per glass and pour sparkling water over the top to fill the glass about ¾ full. Some of the strawberries and rhubarb will float to the top once the sparkling water is added.
Add a small sprig of mint on top to garnish. Serve with ice if desired.