My rosehip-syrup experiment last autumn went down pretty well, so I thought I’d try a spring version. And this time, I decided to add tequila.
Ingredients – serves 4
Rhubarb Syrup (recipe follows)
2 cups white tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup triple sec, such as Cointreau
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh ripped mint leaves
Crushed ice, for the shaker
8 fresh strawberries, hulled and finely diced
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large stalks of rhubarb, coarsely chopped
Directions for Rhubarb Syrup:
I was aiming for 8 cocktails, so doubled the ingredients. Then I, er, added an extra two rhubarb stalks by accident, but it all turned out fine in the end!
Combine 1 1/2 cups of water and the sugar in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rhubarb and cook until slightly softened, for about 5 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and steep for 1 hour. Drain the liquid into a small saucepan and cook over a high heat until slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the syrup to a bowl (or a measuring jug and a cafetiere if you happen to have broken every bowl you own). The recipe then says to cover and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour, but I left it to cool down on the side for an hour or so first. This probably seems obvious, but I thought I’d mention it just in case. The left-over rhubarb pulp is delicious as well, so don’t throw it away!
Combine the Rhubarb Syrup, tequila, lime juice, triple sec, orange juice, mint leaves and some crushed ice in a shaker, in batches if necessary. Place the strawberries in the bottom of your glasses, then strain the margaritas over them. I found it quite difficult to judge the batches, so would advise combining everything in a large bowl first, then portioning it out for shaking. Mine turned out more orangey than rhubarby at first (no large bowls to hand), but I’d had the foresight to store the Rhubarb Syrup in a glass bottle that we could top up with as the cocktails went down.
They were sugary and fruity, the lime, orange juice and bitters balancing the syrupy flavour of the rhubarb. The tequila still packed a punch, but even the boys appreciated it being a contributing flavour rather than the sole focus. Dr Jekyll seems to be after them already in the photo above.
Has anyone else got any spring cocktails planned? Not that you need an excuse!
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