Rhubarb, Rose & Strawberry Syrup
Cocktails and Cordials
One of the joys of spring is the promise of rebirth in the garden; apart from the burgeoning buds on all the fruit trees and bushes, the delicate blush blossoms bursting forth under gentle rain and sultry sunshine, there’s more treasure to be discovered, usually under a large terracotta pot – RHUBARB. We have four rhubarb crowns in our garden in France, all of them with impeccable breeding, as they were transported and then transplanted from my mum’s (and her neighbour’s) garden in Yorkshire, home to the famous Rhubarb Triangle.
The Rhubarb Triangle is only 9 square miles (about 23km), but is the UK’s leading rhubarb producing area. The triangle links Wakefield, Morley and Rochwell together as the main axis, and within this area, there are numerous producers growing the area’s famous forced rhubarb in candlelit sheds. Being a native of Siberia, rhubarb thrives in this part of Yorkshire, where wet and cold winters are the norm and not the exception. In the good old days, this part of Yorkshire produced 90% of the world’s forced rhubarb, which is a a staggering amount.
But back to my garden rhubarb – which is now in full growth and is providing us with several sticks a day. My love of rhubarb is well-known, and regular readers will remember that Janice (Farmersgirl Kitchen) and I recently hosted a recipe round-up for rhubarb recipes here: Blog Hop and Linky Party: The Great British Rhubarb Recipe Round-Up! The linky party must have resonated with lots of readers, as Janice and I were amazed and happy to receive over SIXTY recipes! Please do pop over to the link (shared above) to see all the amazing recipes that we were added.
Inspired by all the recipes that were shared, I decided to go a little off-piste and create a syrup with my latest rhubarb haul. Using some rose-water and a punnet of new season’s strawberries, along with my home-grown rhubarb, I created today’s recipe for Rhubarb, Rose & Strawberry Syrup. Simply made by baking the fruit in the oven, for a more pronounced flavour and colour, this is not a preserved syrup, but will last for up to a week in the fridge once made.
The syrup is a wonderful rosy pink colour and tastes of rhubarb with highlights of sweet strawberries and a hint of floral rose. Perfect for cordials and in creamy desserts such as rhubarb fool, this syrup is also fabulous when added to sophisticated cocktails. Having made the syrup, it was time to test it, and what better way can there be to test drive this glowing fruity syrup than in a luxurious and elegant cocktail, enter another new recipe (to be shared soon) for Rhubarb Champagne Cocktails.
Before I share this new cocktail recipe next week, why not have a go at making my Rhubarb, Rose and Strawberry Syrup first – you’ll then have a batch waiting for these champagne cocktails if the mood takes you to make them next weekend! I’m off to do a spot of weeding now, as a garden doesn’t weed itself, but do pop back soon to see my next series of new recipes, culinary notes and travel news. Have a relaxing Sunday, Karen