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This year, more than ever, I am realizing how much I love seasons and the changes that come with the changes in weather. As a fashion lover, I have seasonal clothing. I can only wear my most favourite sandals for a few months of the year, but that’s what makes them my favourite, right? If I could wear them all year round I’d likely bore of them AND wear them out far more quickly! Instead, for the last 3 years when the weather turns for the better I eagerly go into my ‘summer clothing’ tupperware that has been stowed away for the last 7 months and pull them out excitedly. As a flower lover, I have seasonal flowers. Don’t even get me started. Gosh, I’ve had a full on obsession with so many flowers this year alone that have already come and gone. First it was hellebores, then tulips, then lilacs, now peonies, and I am eagerly waiting for dahlias! The short season for each of these flowers is what makes them so special.
So where am I headed with this? Seasonal food! It’s the same idea. Every year as particular fruits and veggies come into season I remember how much I loved them from years previous and get memories of enjoying them and the weather at the time – it’s funny the things that can evoke nostalgia, isn’t it? First up this year in favourite seasonal foods is rhubarb and strawberries! These 2 pair so well together. I remember picking rhubarb as a child and eating it raw and strawberry picking was always a June activity to look forward to. Now that I’m all grown up (hehe), I thought a strawberry rhubarb cocktail would be oh-so delicious. How didn’t I think of this earlier?
Welcome spring with this strawberry rhubarb cocktail!
This isn't a traditional simple syrup but close counts, right? I'll call it 'simple syrup' in quotations just to acknowledge I know it isn't fully true. Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1 cup diced rhubarb in a pot on the stove. Boil the contents on the stove until the water begins to dissolve and the mixture becomes syrupy. I don't like my mixture to become too thick so I will usually only let it boil for about 5 minutes and then simmer for 5-10. White sugar is most commonly used to make simple syrup but this time I switched it up and used brown - both work but brown is highly recommended for this recipe! Typically with simple syrup you would drain the fruit to keep a clean consistent syrup, for this drink I kept the soft rhubarb in.
Using a muddle, mash up 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries (this is enough for 4 drinks).
In a shaker, combine the 'simple syrup', strawberry mash, campari, vodka, and lime juice. Shake with ice until very cold and pour into your glasses. Top up with sparkling water and garnish with a stalk of rhubarb. Dare I say best served with strawberry rhubarb pie? Enjoy!
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