Guess what, guess what!
I have a little vegetable/fruit/herb garden growing in my backyard. Aside from growing a few potted herbs on the small porch of our old apartment, I have never grown a single thing in my life. I cheated and purchased the already half-grown plants instead of starting them from seed.
But hey, if I can keep them alive, that’s all that counts. Actually, we already lost one strawberry plant (yup, we got two of them). Some little critter dug it out of the ground only a few days after we planted it. We tried re-planting the little guy but it didn’t make it. <Insert sad face emoji here>.
So, we plan to replace it with a bell pepper plant. Sorry strawberries.
The one item we planted that is already doing really well is rhubarb. My generous mother-in-law gave me a bunch of hers to transplant into my garden and it has shot up like weeds.
With all of this rhubarb popping up I knew I needed to get into my kitchen and make use of it. There is something so satisfying about walking out to your backyard and harvesting your own food right before you prepare and serve it. The day was rainy so I got a little muddy and wet, but hey, that’s part of the experience of gardening, right? Recently I discovered the enticing videos of Thirsty For by Tastemade. Have you ever watched them before? If not you must check them out. They are fun little videos about different types of traditional drinks from around the world. They use outstanding videography and choreography along with some fun music that fits the drink they are making. These little videos are addicting to watch.
This particular drink that I stumbled on is a rhubarb drink that is made in Poland. I couldn’t wait to make it!
It is so simple. Chop fruit, boil and simmer for 25 minutes, strain, sweeten, chill and enjoy. In only 30 minutes you can have a refreshing, sweet treat chilling in your fridge.
I couldn’t resist adding in some strawberries-because rhubarb and strawberries are the perfect couple—but I was itching to try the plain rhubarb one as well. So, I made both.
They are both equally delicious, sweet and slightly tart drinks that are perfect enjoyed on a hot day.
Somehow they are very much like drinking liquid pie, only without the crust.
Plus, their bright colors look a lot like Kool-Aid, only they are way healthier because they are flavored with real fruits and sweetened with honey. Hello! Packets full of powder flavored with who-knows-what and dyed with artificial stuff, and sweetened with a bucket of sugar will never be a healthy choice. Right? Agreed!
So come on down, kids, and try a glass. I just know you kids and adults alike will love this one.
P.S. Adults, if you want to jazz things up a little, add in a shot (or 2) of your favorite vodka or white rum to a glass of the rhubarb drink. Party!
- FOR THE RHUBARB DRINK:
- 1 ½ cups rhubarb (about 3 large stalks, or 6 small ones, leaves removed), chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 4 cups filtered water
- ⅛ to ⅓ cup honey
- Orange slices for garnish (optional)
- FOR THE STRAWBERRY RHUBARB DRINK:
- 1 cup rhubarb (about 2 large stalks, or 4 small ones, leaves removed), chopped into 1 inch pieces
- ½ cup strawberries (about 2 to 3 large strawberries), hulled and quartered
- 4 cups filtered water
- ⅛ to ⅓ cup honey
- Extra strawberries for garnish (optional)
- FOR BOTH DRINKS:
- Place chopped fruit and the 4 cups filtered water into a medium-sized sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and uncover the pot.
- Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The fruit should mostly be broken down, the rhubarb should be broken down into small strings. Remove from the heat.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium-sized mixing bowl. (If you don’t have a really fine sieve that will catch the strawberry seeds, then line a strainer with cheese cloth when making that drink).
- Pour water and fruit mixture over the fine mesh sieve. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to push as much of the liquid from the fruit pulp as possible. Discard the fruit pulp.
- While the mixture is still warm stir in the honey. I suggest adding ⅛ cup and tasting to see if you would like to add more. The amount of honey you add will depend on the tartness of the rhubarb you are using and your preference for the level of sweetness or tartness.
- Allow the warm mixture to cool to room temperature. Place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
- Serve in glasses with a few ice cubes, if desired. Garnish with orange slices and/or strawberries.
- Store the drink mixtures in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.