Where has this drink been all my life?
I never ate rhubarb as a kid. The stringy looking texture put me off. Boy did I miss out on such a delicious rosy coloured vegetable (that we treat like a fruit). Now I make lots of rhubarb recipes in Spring and early Summer, and if someone asks me "would you like a rhubarb punch?" I'm willing to risk a crazy little guy in a straw hat coming at me with his fist. It's worth it to get a glass of this refreshing tart/sweet beauty of a beverage. (By the way, if you're too young to get the Hawaiian Punch reference, or just want to re-visit the old joke, click here and enjoy.)
makes about 2 litres or quarts
- 5 cups finely chopped raw rhubarb
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1 cup berry sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed organic orange juice
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
- you also need a square of cheesecloth for straining
Put chopped rhubarb and berry sugar in a large bowl and pour the boiling water over it.
Let sit covered with a cloth overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Pour the rhubarb mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth and let it drain well.
Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the rhubarb mixture so you get as much of the flavour as possible. (Discard the rhubarb pulp.)
Add the fresh squeezed orange and lemon juices to the liquid. (You can adjust amounts to your own taste. Add a little lime juice too, if you'd like.)
Pour the punch into glass bottles and chill for several hours.
Serve over ice with a little mineral or soda water to taste. If you have a little mint or lavender on hand, that's a nice way to garnish or should I say, "gild the lily"!